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Shilpa Shetty gets into the food business

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Last Sunday in London, Shilpa Shetty and her fiance Raj Kundra announced a 33% stake in the V8 Gourmet Group, an international Indian food company that includes The Bombay Bicycle Club Kitchens and Tiffinbites amongst other brands.

Says a source close to Shilpa, "Shilpa and Raj have invested 6 million pounds in the group. The money will be used to expand the company's Bombay Bicycle Club Kitchens delivery service. It will also enable the company to expand the Tiffinbites restaurants, concessions and franchises in London and abroad. Plans include opening a casual dining and shopping mall dining formats in Dubai in October this year and in Jordan next year.

Shilpa says, "I feel proud to be associated with the group. They have carved a niche for themselves in the Indian food industry in the last 13 years, and spell consistency, quality and authentic Indian food. I know that our partnership will grow and envisage a great future with a whole new line of products and restaurants all over Europe, Dubai and Jordan. I love cooking, and find it therapeutic. Cooking has always been a hobby for me so what better than to be part of a chain that helps me to propagate my love for cooking?"

It is believed Shilpa will also launch her Gourmet Creations Range of premium authentic gourmet meals, chutneys and pickles. The range will initially be North Indian and will later offer cuisine from southern India (Shilpa's native state is Karnataka).

Arjun Varma, Managing Director, V8 Gourmet Group says, "Shilpa shares a genuine passion for fine Indian cuisine and is a perfect ambassador for V8 whilst Raj brings a wealth of international business expertise which will help us to achieve our ambitious growth plans in the UK and overseas." Raj Kundra is CEO of Trade Essential Dubai an international trading company.

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