Asian Internet Entrepreneur Awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2009

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Asian Internet entrepreneur, Mrs Lopa Patel, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2009 for her services to the creative industries. A businesswoman with extensive digital media experience, Patel is founder of award-winning South Asian lifestyle portal Redhotcurry.com, which she set up in 2001 and that has since become to the most successful business of its type in Britain.

I believe that lasting change can only come from within. Young Asians must engage with British society, politics and the institutions that form the basis of one of the world's greatest democracies. My mantra has been always been Mahatma Gandhi's words 'be the change you want to see in the world' and this honour inspires to me to try even harder

Asian Internet entrepreneur, Mrs Lopa Patel, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2009 for her services to the creative industries. A businesswoman with extensive digital media experience, Patel is founder of award-winning South Asian lifestyle portal Redhotcurry.com, which she set up in 2001 and that has since become to the most successful business of its type in Britain.

Patel has been honoured for her services to digital media: the championing of entrepreneurship, particularly among Asian women, and for supporting the South Asian community in the UK. Speaking about the MBE, Patel said "For many, such a great honour as this would be the culmination of many years of hard work and effort. For me it marks that start of a new chapter in giving back to business and the community. Expectations among my family and friends are high - I know that they are looking to see what I can do next in raising the profile of the Asian community in Britain, getting more women-owned businesses off the ground and in helping young Asians feel proud to be British".

Patel has an outstanding record of achievement that has been recognised throughout the industry via numerous accolades including the 'Windrush Award' (Outstanding Champion for the Internet & Technology category), the Silver 'Smart' Award (Software Development) and she was voted 'Asian Woman of the Year' in 2005 (Media).

Her extra-curricular community roles have ranged from being a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing London branch, Vice Presidency of Women in Direct Marketing organisation to co-founding eWomen, a networking group aimed specifically at women involved in the new media sector. Since year 2000, she has supported the Middlesex Premier Cricket League, the largest amateur Sunday cricket league in the South East of England. She is an ardent promoter of Asian Arts in the UK and supporter of Asian Women's groups and initiatives.

Patel is also a regular speaker on marketing, digital media and entrepreneurship. She has spoken at the Luton University Women's ebusiness program, at the Dynamic Asian Women's Network, at the University of Westminster Springboard program, at the British Library's popular 'Hot Off the Press' media panel event and most recently at London Business School's Women Entrepreneurs panel event in May 2009.

She was the first Asian woman elected as Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and is also a Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing and the Royal Society for the Arts (RSA). She appears in the Asian Who's Who and The Observer/Courvoisier Future 500 Top Achievers List (2007). In 2008, she was recognised with a London Borough of Barnet Civic Award for community services.

Lopa started her career on Imperial Chemical Industries' fast-track graduate program that she joined after attaining a diploma in Computer Science and a degree from the University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology. She left ICI to set up DMS Direct Ltd, a marketing services company specialising in database development and direct marketing. She founded Redhotcurry.com in 2001, an ecommerce operation -TheRedhotshop.com - in 2005 and an online business-to-business directory in 2007. In May 2008, she became a Non-Executive Director of Becta - the government agency leading e-Learning strategy in the UK - to help influence the take up off technology in schools, colleges and universities in Britain.

"I believe that lasting change can only come from within. Young Asians must engage with British society, politics and the institutions that form the basis of one of the world's greatest democracies. My mantra has been always been Mahatma Gandhi's words 'be the change you want to see in the world' and this honour inspires to me to try even harder".

Patel is of Gujarati descent but was born in Nairobi, Kenya. She is married with a young daughter and lives in London.

Further details about Lopa Patel can be found at:
http://www.lopapatel.com

High-resolution photographs are available from:
http://www.lopapatel.com/lopaphotos.html

For further details contact:
Redhotcurry.com
01707 269 666, press(at)redhotcurry.com

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