It has been a triumphant year for High Flying Solicitor Ritu Sethi of The Sethi Partnership Solicitors who has beaten off fierce competition to win the coveted title of BUSINESSWOMAN OF THE YEAR at the Asian Woman Achievement Awards for Excellence 2008. The exclusive VIP Award Ceremony which took place at the prestigious Whitehall Palace Banqueting Hall near 10 Downing Street in Central London celebrated the best of British-Asian talent. The event which was supported by a TV broadcast from the Prime Minister saw Ritu collect her award in front of dignitaries (Lord Paul) celebrities (actress Manjinder Kaur-The Britz) and politicians (Rt. Hon Stephen Timms). Ritu joined an elite set of winners on the night including cutting-edge Music Producer Rishi Rich and emerging new actor Dev Patel from Channel 4’s hit drama Skins.
The delighted Ritu Sethi said:
“It has been an absolute honour to win this award and I want to pay tribute to all Asian women who are in Business. I hope that my story can inspire and encourage women to never give up on their dreams. Through focus and determination we can highly achieve at professional and personal levels. Asian women know how to strike a unique balance in being successful homemakers as well as astute businesswomen!” It has been quite a year for Ritu Sethi and her mantelpiece will surely be looking busy thanks to all the Awards she has been receiving! In August 2008 she won the First Women Achievement Award in Business in association with CBI Magazine and her name was propelled to new heights alongside fellow winners Kelly Hoppen (celebrity interior designer to the Beckhams) and fashion designer Nicole Farhi. She was also acknowledged for her professional services in the category of Law/Judiciary by the Indian International Foundation in May 2008. In November 2000, Ritu Sethi won the Asian Business Owner of the Year Award and in 2007 was a finalist for the Professional of the Year at the Asian Achievers Awards and the Professional Excellence Jewel Award. Her other interests outside Law also mean she is a trained ITEC Beauty Therapist and YMCA Fitness instructor.
Born in Kenya and raised in Ilford, Essex by her father and mother, Mr and Mrs. Bhanot, both school teachers, Ritu rebelled against the traditional career choice of science or medical professions and gained her LLB Honours from Bristol in 1988. Only a day after completing her Training Contract the industrious solicitor was made a Partner at a medium sized firm and thought she was paving the way to a successful career in Law. However, things were going to take a nasty turn for the worst! Only in her mid-twenties and with two young children aged two years and six months, she soon had to deal with bailiffs-thanks to debts run up by a former business partner! On the brink of bankruptcy and on a steep learning curve, Ritu worked tirelessly to overcome some of the biggest hurdles of her life.
With hard work, late nights, numerous nannies, loyal staff members and the support of a devoted husband, Sudhir Sethi (Director of Abbacus Computers Ltd) Ritu’s firm began to grow its clients and increase in numbers of staff. Within years Ritu had turned her fortunes around and in 1994 she created The Sethi Partnership Solicitors with thirty staff which has become one of the most successful Legal Practices in West London. The firm enjoys a glowing reputation for finding legal solutions for clients in all legal matters. The firm advise on a wide range of legal services from Property Law, Business Law ,Commercial Conveyancing, Criminal Law; Employment; Immigration; Divorce; Child Care and Wills and Probate. In May 1999, Sethi Partnership Solicitors was the first legal practice to be awarded Investors in People and Lexcel-The Law Society’s practice management quality standard and is now often used as a role model firm for other law firms.
Ritu and Sudhir’s two children Avinash,17 years and Nikhita,15 years have grown up with the practice and see their mother as a positive role model.
A successful TV host of chat show ‘Chai with Ritu’ (Sky MATV) Ritu invests a large part of her time in reaching out to people through the vehicle of television and motivational speaking:
“I feel that I have a voice and through the power of the media I can bring people together to discuss and debate on current topics which affect them from immigration to domestic violence to knife crime. With the support of the Asian community and like minded individuals, we can go a long way in creating a nurturing environment for similar success stories such as my own to be heard and create a positive feel-good society.”