Swati Elavia named Small Business Person of the Year for Massachusetts

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Swati Elavia (Photo: Monsoon Kitchens website)

BOSTON – The Small Business Administration (SBA) has named Swati Elavia, President of Monsoon Kitchens the 2019 Small Business Person of the Year for Massachusetts.

Monsoon Kitchens earned the recognition for significant expansion and scaling distribution nationwide.  Based in Shrewsbury, MA Monsoon Kitchens is an all-natural Indian food company serving a wide ranging portfolio of customers, including: universities, corporate cafeterias, military, casinos, cruise lines, and grocery stores.

“Monsoon Kitchens is poised for explosive growth after Swati completed the SBA’s inaugural Emerging Leaders Initiative in Worcester,” said SBA Massachusetts District Director Robert Nelson.  “We are delighted to support the expansion goals of visionary entrepreneurs like Swati, who are building business development partnerships all across America.  Congratulations to Monsoon Kitchens!”

Born in Agra, India – Elavia started Monsoon Kitchens after completing her Ph.D. in Nutrition in the US and gaining years of experience working at General Mills in Minneapolis as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.  Elavia started off selling spices, sauces and chutneys; customers soon began asking her to produce ready-made appetizers.  Elavia then partnered with a local restaurant to manufacture the food products and soon realized there was a market for authentic Indian cuisine in large scale food service industries.  Over time, Monsoon Kitchens evolved into a full-fledged food wholesaler.

In 2016, Monsoon Kitchens received SBA financing from Leader Bank with loans in the amount of $100K and $25K; in addition to a revolving line of credit to continue expanding.

Today, Monsoon Kitchens continues to grow at a rate of about 20% in the most recent year, reinvesting profits into research & development, marketing and human capital – with a total of 7 employees now.  Monsoon Kitchens continues to grow by working with contract manufacturers to make products; and national brokers and distributors to expand their reach.  Recently, a line of retail products was launched that will help establish brand awareness with new consumers and lead to new sales revenue.

“Being successful at managing a small business is like raising a happy and successful family,” said Monsoon Kitchens President Elavia. “You must be fearless, honest, compassionate, supportive, respectful, critical and most of all happy all at the same time.  Most importantly be flexible because as the saying goes – “if you are flexible you won’t get bent out of shape.”

In 2018, Elavia completed the SBA Emerging Leaders program along with the inaugural cohort of small businesses from central Massachusetts.  Elavia gives back to her community by contributing money and resources to nonprofits and other charitable groups including:  Sodexho Foundation, Pan Mass Challenge for Cancer Research, Dana Farber, and the Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management.

The company was nominated by Sushil Tuli, President and CEO of Leader Bank. Swati will be honored at the annual SCORE Boston / SBA awards luncheon along with other 2019 Massachusetts Small Business Week winners at Assumption College in Worcester on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019.

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations.

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