Owner of Mumtaz Food Group awarded an honorary degree
One of the most successful entrepreneurs in Yorkshire, Mumtaz Khan Akbar was awarded an honourary degree today for his services to food. Dr Khan received the Doctorate of of Business Administration from Leeds Metropolitan University at a formal ceremony held this morning.
Born in Kashmir, Pakistan, in 1959, Mumtaz Khan moved to Britain to join his family in 1972. His mother founded the Mumtaz business in 1978, opening the first Mumtaz restaurant on Great Horton Road in Bradford and naming it after him, as the eldest son in the family.
Since then, the original Mumtaz has expanded, taking over its next-door neighbours, an optician and two fish and chip shops, to become a 150-seat restaurant. In 2009, Mumtaz Khan opened his Leeds restaurant on Mothers’ Day in a tribute to his mother.
Speaking at his graduation, Mumtaz Khan commented: 'I am extremely overwhelmed by the award. It's a real honour to be appreciated in such a way and I'm so thankful to Leeds Met. I had been thinking of retiring but receiving this award has motivated me to keep on going at the business!
Mumtaz Khan has continued to build the Mumtaz name, creating a food processing division known as Mumtaz Food Industries. Alongside the production of Kashmiri dishes for major supermarket chains, including Asda, Tesco and Morrisons and exporting to 37 different countries, Mumtaz launched a new takeaway franchise, Jaldi Jaldi, in 2009 with the help of family friend and fellow Leeds Metropolitan University honorary degree holder, James Caan, best known for his role on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den.
He has now expanded his restaurant business into London, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh, with the Leeds restaurant also incorporating chilled food counters, a delicatessen, conference facilities and a takeaway. However, the family-run nature of the business has remained at the heart with Mumtaz ensuring that he personally trains the chefs himself.