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Riyaaz Amlani

President, NRAI

C.E.O. & Managing Director

Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. (IEHPL)

Riyaaz Amlani (Born November 20, 1974) is an entrepreneur and a restaurateur based in Mumbai, India. He is the CEO and MD of Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd and the President of NRAI (National Restaurant Association of India), also often referred to as eatopian, hospitality wiz and a coffee baron. Over the years Riyaaz has assured a cumulative expansion of Impresario’s operations across the country by establishing 48 restaurants across 15 cities. Its umbrella of brands include Mocha, Smoke House Deli, Salt Water Cafe, Smoke House Grill, Salt Water Grill, Smoke House Room, Le Kebabiere, Prithvi Café, The Tasting Room and the very recent and successful brand Social (Present in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore).

Starting out as an outsider to the hospitality industry, today Riyaaz is highly respected and well-known in the restaurant business in India. He is known for his uncanny ability to provide unusual and novel experiences in all his ventures. Having sold shoes as a teenager, Riyaaz completed his education in UCLA with a Masters in Entertainment Management. Paving his way through the business, he soon started working as the entertainment consultant for many location-based entertainment centers. During this period, Amlani contributed to the building of India’s leading Family Entertainment Centers as well as set up a wellness centre. He soon took over the reins of a leading media company, but gave it all up to open a café partnership with Kiran Salaskar. His vision was a cafe that offered an experience beyond the ordinary. This gave birth to his maiden venture Mocha, considered a pioneering venture in the café industry.

Growing rapidly under Riyaaz’s leadership, Impresario is set to expand its signature brands of Social (all day café, bar & restaurant with a collaborative workspace) and Smoke House Deli (all-day deli and cafe) across India. A strong focus remains on the growth of the two flagship brands Social and Smoke House Deli in Tier 1 cities and brand Mocha (gourmet coffee shop) in the tier 2 cities. There are also plans chalked out for international expansion.

Awards & Recognition (National and International) –
Riyaaz Amlani has been recognized as the ‘Best CEO’ by ‘Coca-Cola Golden Spoon Awards’, ‘Restaurateur of the Year’ by ‘Franchise India’s Indian Restaurant Awards 2015’, ‘Restaurateur of the Year’ by ‘Top Chef Awards’, ‘Best Restaurateur’ by ‘Time Out Food Awards’, ‘Restaurateur of the Year’ by the ‘Times Food and Nightlife Awards 2016’, ‘Restaurateur of the Year’ by ‘Living Foodz Powerlist Awards 2016’ and the ‘Hall of Fame’ by ‘Food Food Top 100 Awards 2017’. All his restaurants have not only won various awards in India including Best New Restaurant, Best Bar, Best European Restaurant, Best Ambience, Best Noteworthy Newcomer and Best Coffee Shop, but have also been acknowledged internationally by being nominated for UK’s Restaurant & Bar Design Award as well as shortlisted for Miele’s Top 50 Restaurants in Asia and recognized in Time Out Mumbai’s Top 10 Best Restaurateurs in India. The very recent feather to his golden career hat is the Presidentship of NRAI (National Restaurant Association of India).