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The Young Achiever of the Year
Kal Kaur Rai has always been interested in fashion and has just won the title of Young Achiever of the Year at the Asian Business Awards. Ever since she was a child, she has drawn clothes and designed patterns. She never told her hard-working parents, who own a supermarket, that she wanted to turn her hobby into a career. She thought they expected her to go into a more established business, so she went to university to do a management degree.
After university, she moved to London and worked in an advertising agency. She had to attend industry events but couldn't afford the designer clothes she liked. She started making skirts and tops for herself. When her friends saw her clothes, they asked her to make things for them. She then found a small shop in London willing to take her designs on a sale-orreturn basis. They were very popular and nothing came back. This encouraged her to leave her advertising job, take out a £20,000 loan and begin her own womenswear label.
Kal's parents were not angry about her career change and said they would support her, which really pleased her. Her clothes are now on sale in over 70 stores and her business has an income of over £500,000. Her clothes appear in fashion magazines, she designs for pop stars and she has just gained public recognition by winning this award. Her business has come a long way and she knows she is extremely lucky. 'What I do is my hobby - and I get paid for it! But remember, I've worked hard for this.'
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