Raveen Arora, Founder
This 2017 NRAEF Faces of Diversity [video] honoree with “a business mind and a servant heart” was born in a refugee camp in India and grew up in poverty. Recalling how his mother added water to milk to “stretch” it, he understands hunger. “God comes to the poor in the form of food,” he says.
This explains why Arora posted a sign on the dumpster behind his restaurant that reads: “Come inside for a free meal,” after discovering someone eating discarded food there. It also explains why having achieved phenomenal success as a business consultant, and now as a restaurateur, he has devoted his life to enriching those less fortunate.
His 42-seat restaurant, The Dhaba, is named for the humble eateries that dot highways in India and Pakistan, serving food to truck drivers. It’s become a local favorite, as well as a destination for out-of-towners seeking authentic Punjabi cuisine.
Today, Arora shares India Plaza, the shopping center where his restaurant resides, with The Tempe Community Action Agency, of which he’s a board member. He donates 1,500 hours per year to this group and other organizations in his community.
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