Hemant Bhagwani’s life reflects passion and conviction in everything that he does. He has a true passion for food and is incredibly innovative in bringing that passion to life for his customers, employees and business partners. His leadership style was born out of this passion and vision to make a difference, as well as from his life experiences.
Hemant acquired his hotel and culinary management degree from Switzerland (1993), and followed it up with an EMBA from Australia (1994). He then operated food service establishments in Sydney (Australia) and in Dubai (UAE), at every stage of a restaurant: from start-up operations, to turning around struggling restaurants, to taking successful ones to new heights.
Landing in Toronto in 2000, he started his professional life at CN Tower. A passion for wines led him to achieve professional sommelier certification in 2002.
Shortly thereafter, he decided to venture out on his own, despite well-intentioned warnings from friends and family. With the strong desire to set up high quality Indian restaurants serving the best Indian food, he also wanted to make the experience for his guests unique by pairing wines with Indian food – something not previously done in Toronto.
Hemant established the Amaya Group of Restaurants. Amaya is a household name, bringing fresh, healthy, and quality Indian food with sit-down restaurants, several street and food court locations that are “Express”, a Catering division, and a gourmet division that produces the Amaya naan breads and sauces in grocery stores across the country.
Hemant Bhagwani also established Indian Street Food Co., the exciting and fresh concept in Toronto, which has been a phenomenal success since it opened its doors.
Hemant’s latest restaurant is The Kolkata Club in Mississauga.
In recognition of his work in the culinary world, Hemant was a finalist in 2015 Ernst & Yonge Entrepreneur of the Year.
Since 2002, Hemant has opened 34 restaurants in and around Toronto.
His upcoming ventures are Goa Kitchen, and Tandoori Steakhouse.