Nila Raja arrived in England in 1972 with three very young children and only £50 to her name. Despite having no financial assistance, being unable to speak English, and having no knowledge of running a business, in 1973 Raja’s Penny Profit was set up. The business moved on to selling saree’s, Indian jewellery, and cooking utensils and eventually needed to expand its floor space – in 1983 Nila gave her approval on a building on Fletcher Street, what is now famously known as the House Of Rajas Ltd.
Where most people were thinking of retirement, Nila made plans to expand and began making her own brand of pickles, chutneys, curries, pilau rices, and ready meals. It wasn’t long before these products were found on the shelves of Kendals and other House of Fraser stores!
In 1996 the brand, and the store, won an award from the North West Tourist Board for transforming the business into a tourist attraction and significantly increasing the footfall into Bolton town centre. Nila created a tailor-made ‘tourist package’ which not only included a tour of the shop but included a visit to the local temple and to Bolton Market. Coach parties would regularly arrive to partake in this experience and word spread resulting in the House of Raja’s being given its own municipal signpost!
Nila has worked hard to educate herself, and has the drive, energy, and motivation to not only do the right thing but to embrace everyone around her by teaching, nurturing, and setting an example. She has created a warm hub for the entire local community and still insists on raising money for local charities, sending aid to worthy causes far and wide, at the same time giving back to her local community. Nila is truly an inspiration!
Do you know someone who is deserving of the 2019 Inspire Women Lifetime Achievement Award?
Be ready to nominate them from the 10th January 2019.