A PONSANOOTH woman is celebrating success after becoming a winner at the ARON Awards 2019 in Bristol.

Usha James, of The Stag Hunt Inn, won Female Entrepreneur of the Year at the Asian Restaurant Owners Network's annual ceremony.

Usha's unique take on the menu was a calculated risk that paid off, as customers moved away from the Balti houses towards authentic Indian cuisine.

Her extensive community work, whilst maintaining a small team and paying careful attention to financial figures, has seen her succeed during the country’s most difficult economic periods.

Winners were assessed through a stringent, objective judging process; demonstrating excellence in their specialised field. As well as the initial nominations, finalists were assessed through comprehensive interviews, judge’s on-site assessment, online digital footprints, nominee’s supporting evidence, customer and industry feedback, as well as a ‘business health check’.

With Rehan Uddin, Managing Director of ARON and Jack Dart, the voice of youth politics, presenting the exclusive event; guests were both entertained and inspired throughout the evening: “Asian hospitality has been crying out for a voice for change, finally we have a platform that meets the needs and wants of all those connected – raising the standard and challenging the status quo; installing a sense of multicultural pride for both restaurateurs and customers alike.”

The multimedia, interactive event delivered on their promise for equality; introducing a world title belt in a #crownyourqueen segment to celebrate the backbone of the industry; women, “the true unsung champions!” and VIP guest 14-year old Joshua Martin delivered an inspiring speech for industry youth; awarded the first ARON Prodigy Junior Chef jacket by his “hero” Anwar Miah.