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NRI Rita Sharma is the richest Asian woman in London
95 million pound five-star holiday web site

London, March 22, 2005

NRI Rita Sharma has emerged as the richest Asian woman in London with a wealth of £95 million, five-star holiday web site called 20 years after she set up her own small travel business.

There was a time when Indian-born Rita Sharma used to sell airline tickets to make ends meet, but today she is the ninth richest Asian entrepreneur in Britain, thanks to her roaring travel agency business, which she started from a small office on London's Oxford Street.

Today she is in the top 25 in a poll of Britain's wealthiest Asians, besides being named the richest Asian woman in London. According to a report in The Independent, that puts Sharma at number nine in a top 10 of Asian entrepreneurs in London, and 21st nationally, alongside such billionaires as steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal (13.5 billion pounds) and the Hinduja brothers who have made a 2.1 billion pound fortune, mainly from oil.

Sharma, a first-generation immigrant from Punjab and a mother of two teenage daughters, said she was impatient for success early in life.

"I was disillusioned and had a determination to make something work by myself. I was a great Thatcherite and I believed every word she said when she talked about businesses springing from your own backyard. I found a serviced office in Oxford Street that was about the size of a broom cupboard, and the other thing I had was contacts and the conviction that I could make money out of airline tickets for left-turners [industry-speak for first-class airline travellers]," the paper quotes Sharma, as saying.

She further went on to say that she was inspired by her father, a clothes manufacturer who supplied C and A, and her brother Raj, who recently sold his travel business to Sharma's husband, Rahul, 46, swapped his job with an accountancy firm to become her finance director, and the company now is preparing for floatation within three years. (ANI)

NRI is richest Asian woman in UK

Posted online: Monday, March 28, 2005 at 0045 hours IST

LONDON, MARCH 27: Non-resident Indian Rita Sharma has emerged as the richest Asian woman in London with a wealth of £95 million, 20 years after she set up her own small travel business.

Along with her husband Rahul, the 44-year old Ms Sharma is also part of the 21st richest Asian couple in Britain. Although born in Punjab, she was brought to this country as a baby and grew up in the suburbs of Ilford. Her father manufactured women’s garments for C&A and her mother was a housewife.

According to the Asian rich list, the family were not poor.“I saw my parents work all the hours God gave and they just had enough for food and the basics of life. There was never room for extras. I never wanted to end up like them.”






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