Bombay Express, Albert Road, Southsea
Restaurateur Mohammed Abdul Kadir is a self-confessed workaholic who puts in seven days a week, 364 days a year. With such a gruelling schedule he’s a businessman who needs expert solutions when unexpected mishaps threaten to disrupt the smooth running of his very popular Bombay Express Balti House restaurant.
But he could have been forgiven for viewing things with some trepidation on September 15, 2000, when his premises were flooded during a deluge. Homes and businesses in Southsea, Hampshire, were covered by up to 5ft of water and raw sewage when more than 6cm of rain – the average rainfall for the entire month – fell in just one day. A pumping station was swamped by the flash flood, causing a total power failure which allowed raw sewage to escape into the floodwaters from the city’s drains.
“The restaurant was knee-high in water – there was damage to the carpets, the wallpaper and the lino,” recalled Mr Kadir, who is in partnership with Babul Miah.
While many people were left checking the small print of their insurance policies, Mr Kadir was relieved that his coverage had been arranged by Greenfield Insurance Services.
“All I had to do was make one telephone call. Everything was organised without causing me any extra anxiety. They took care of everything. I can remember James reassuring me and saying ‘leave it to me.’ “
About two years ago, Mr Kadir had cause to make another claim on his commercial insurance policy because of a small kitchen fire in the restaurant.
“Again I telephoned James and he was calm and professional and put me at ease by saying that’s what you pay insurance for.”
In the aftermath of the fire the restaurant was closed for only a single lunchtime, and the claim was dealt with expeditiously.
Added Mr Kadir, “ In my opinion it’s not all down to how much you pay for your premiums but more about the level of service you get.
“I have always received the best service. As a businessman I prefer dealing with other professionals on a one-to-one basis. I don’t have to telephone and wait in a queue for a reference number and repeat my details to several different departments. “
Mr Kadir, whose family is originally from Bangladesh opened Bombay Express in Southsea’s Albert Road in 1992 and has seen the premises expand from a seating capacity of 28 to 150.
Although the restaurant is fully licensed, he allows his patrons to bring along their own wine and beer, as he believes it can create a better dining-out atmosphere on busy evenings when you do not have to experience a delay in bar orders.
Mr Kadir now believes that with Greenfield he has nurtured a personal friendship as well as being a policy-holder.
“For me especially, being in the restaurant trade, I need to be able to delegate and have someone I can trust to take some of the work off my shoulders.
“Personally, I think that I work hard and with the excellent service Greenfield provides it doesn’t make my life harder.”
Bombay Express,77-79 Albert Road, Southsea. Telephone 023 92 821661.