Mumtaz owner receives honorary degree
One of the most successful businessmen and entrepreneurs in the region, Mumtaz Khan Akbar has been host to many notable diners including David Cameron, Dawn French, Shilpa Shetty and the Queen.
Born in Kashmir, Pakistan, in 1959, Mumtaz Khan moved to Britain to join his family in 1972. His mother founded the Mumtaz business in 1978, opening the first Mumtaz restaurant on Great Horton Road in Bradford and naming it after him, as the eldest son in the family.
Since then, the original Mumtaz has expanded, taking over its next-door neighbours, an optician and two fish and chip shops, to become a 150-seat restaurant. In 2009, Mumtaz Khan opened his Leeds restaurant on Mothers' Day in a tribute to his mother.
Speaking at his graduation, Mumtaz Khan commented: "I am extremely overwhelmed by the award. It's a real honour to be appreciated in such a way and I'm so thankful to Leeds Met. I had been thinking of retiring but receiving this award has motivated me to keep on going at the business!"
Mumtaz Khan has continued to build the Mumtaz name, creating a food processing division known as Mumtaz Food Industries. Alongside the production of Kashmiri dishes for major supermarket chains, including Asda, Tesco and Morrisons and exporting to 37 different countries, Mumtaz launched a new takeaway franchise, Jaldi Jaldi, in 2009 with the help of family friend and fellow Leeds Metropolitan University honorary degree holder, James Caan, best known for his role on the BBC's Dragons' Den.
Mumtaz Khan has now expanded his restaurant business into London, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh, with the Leeds restaurant also incorporating chilled food counters, a delicatessen, conference facilities and a takeaway. However, the family-run nature of the business has remained at the heart of the business, with Mumtaz ensuring that he personally trains the chefs himself. He also lives in a house with his father, his siblings and their families, 17 altogether.
The graduation celebrations have taken place at the University's Headingley Campus from Monday 23 to Friday 27 July, where over 5,000 students have graduated over five days, alongside ten honorary degree recipients.
Others receiving honorary degrees from Leeds Metropolitan included England rugby union head coach Stuart Lancaster, Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis, Red or Dead designer Wayne Hemmingway, Olympic torch designer Edward Barber, Huddersfield Town chairman Dean Hoyle and Mumtaz Khan Akbar - the founder and owner of the Mumtaz Food Group.