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Business News 2009
Business News->Indian Foodstuffs company named 'Best UK Family Business
Indian Foodstuffs company named 'Best UK Family Business

(23 February 2009)

Kuldeep Singh Wouhra, Chairman of East End foodsWest Bromwich based East End Foods, has been named 'Best UK Family Business, Northern England and the Midlands Region', in the £25m+ turnover category of the Coutts Prize for Family Business 2008/9. The company will now go on to compete in the £25m+ category at the national finals to be held in central London on 23rd June 2009. Formed in 1972 by the Wouhra brothers, East End Foods is a second generation family business and is the largest importer of Indian food products and ingredients to the UK.

They clean, pack and process the goods in the UK and distribute to independent stores and large retailers such as Waitrose, Tesco and Asda across both the UK and Europe. Their business also includes two cash and carry stores in Birmingham.

Lucy Armstrong, Regional Chair of the evaluation committee commented: "East End Foods is an amazing success story for a family who have built something from nothing in less than thirty years. This is an entrepreneurial family that has used all its talents to develop a strong business with consistent growth and profitability. The judges were particularly impressed with:

* the family's success in building something from nothing in less than thirty years, through organic growth;

* the relationship the business has formed with customer groups; and

* the strong sense of family commitment and involvement in the business, from summer jobs for the next generation to a willingness for succession to take place now the second generation is in the boardroom; and

* the active engagement in the local community and the broader environment in which they operate such as working with hospitals to produce healthy Indian meals as part of their commitment to being a good corporate citizen."

Jason Wouhra, East End FoodsJason Wouhra, Operations Director and Company Secretary of East End Foods and second generation member of the Wouhra family said: "We are extremely pleased to receive the Coutts Prize for Family Business as recognition for our hard work and family unity. As a second generation member of the family and board, I am looking forward to our next stage of growth and future progress. Our strong team, family values and ongoing strategy will enable us to achieve this despite the present economic conditions."

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About the Coutts Prize for Family Business

The Coutts Prize for Family Business recognises the best run family businesses in England and Wales, and is the only regional and national awards programme in England and Wales celebrating the overall best performing small, medium-sized and large family businesses. The Coutts Prize recognises firms in three categories (£1m-5m, £5m-£25m, £25m+) that demonstrate a combination of high standards of family governance and corporate governance, a competitive market position, consistent financial growth, and a track record of charitable giving or involvement in local community. Entrants must be companies or firms where two or more family members together have control of over 25% of the voting shares and consider themselves as a family business.

More specifically, the independent evaluation committee was looking for examples of best practice including;

* the strength of the family's values;
* the involvement of the family;
* communication and planning;
* the separation of 'ownership' and 'management';
* the use of external, independent advice;
* the development of a succession planning process;
* next generation development;
* conflict management; and
* philanthropy and charitable involvement.

The independent evaluation committee is overseen by Roger Pedder, former Chairman, between 1993 and 2006, of C&J Clark Ltd (Clark Shoes), one of the UK's largest private family companies.

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