Mowgli Street Food set to expand after stand-out year

Indian casual dining group, Mowgli Street Food is set to grow following an exceptional year which saw it ranked for a second successive year among the UK’s most dynamic businesses on the Sunday Times Fast Track 100.

Mowgli, founded in Liverpool by former barrister Nisha Katona MBE in 2014, now has 10 restaurants across the country. In the last three years revenues have grown on average by more than 66% every year and in the 12 months to the end of July hit £12m.

The next restaurant to open will be Bristol in the next few weeks, followed by Leeds, Edinburgh, and Glasgow in 2020. In the longer term Newcastle and Preston, Bath, Brighton and Coventry are also on the company’s radar.

Katona said, “Despite the uncertainty in the wider economy, I have never been more passionate, and positive for the future. By nature, I think entrepreneurs are optimists, and I do feel that we have a great opportunity to continue our mission to enrich lives, which is the purpose that drives us every day.

“I can’t believe that in four years we have come so far so fast, and we now have over 400 people working in the business. It just goes to show that you can follow your dreams with passion and hard work!

“My challenge, and one that I face as we continue to grow, is to retain the culture throughout the business. I aim to inspire the people around me to have to same passion for exceptional Indian food and service that I have every day.”

Alongside new restaurant launches in Manchester (University Green), Cardiff and Leicester so far this year, Mowgli, which is backed by leading investment company Foresight Group, through its North West Regional Investment Fund, has launched a sustainability campaign and a charity, the Mowgli Trust, to benefit communities in the UK, India and Africa.

This year staff and customers will raise more than £350k for the Trust which is donated to local and world charities.

From a personal perspective Katona also received a number of honours in 2019, including the MBE for services to the food industry and charity, a ranking on LDC's Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders list, an honorary degree from Liverpool John Moores University, and most recently an honorary doctorate from Edge Hill University in Liverpool.

Katona added, “The MBE really stands out as a massive highlight of 2019 – it was really humbling and an amazing recognition of our food and our commitment to exceptional quality and service.”

Looking forward Nisha is optimistic for Mowgli’s prospects and stresses future expansion will be measured.

“As a former lawyer I handle all the lease negotiations on our sites and I will never do something that is too risky or onerous financially, which is part of the reason we have not yet gone to London, but I am always on the lookout for the right site at the right price.”

Claire Alvarez, Director at Foresight Group, said, “We are proud and delighted to see Mowgli’s continued growth in the face of some tough market conditions. It is testament to both Nisha’s and the senior management team’s passion and focus to create an outstanding purpose-led company. “