Prawn burger man wins top award

A YOUNG Durban businessman who created South Africa's first prawn burger has become R200000 richer after being named the SAB Kick-Starter of the year.

Sooveir Rajkumar, 35, a businessman and owner of Boastful Butcher in KwaZulu-Natal, clinched the top award at a function held in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The former Land Bank employee, who became the first black person to hold a position as an agricultural land valuator, said his true calling for processing food begun while working for a meat processing plant in Lusaka, Zambia.

He said he worked there for four years while attending courses and mastering the art of making various cold meat and ground meat products.

"I spent over a year doing research when I returned home in 2004 and this was when I realised that a lot of people were looking for convenience foods," Rajkumar said.

"I entered this business with the knowledge that consumers are willing to pay a bit more for a quality product that does not compromise on taste or health though it is a convenience food."

Rajkumar employs five staff members and has a business turnover of R80000.

"With the 2010 World Cup next year, I am making efforts to selling to all establishments that will host fans," he said.

Cape Town-based brothers Lonwabo and Luvuyo Rani of Silulo Ulutho Technologieswon the second prize of R150000, while Soweto's Reggie Makhetha and his Roots Restaurant & Gallery, which specialises in traditional food, clinched the third prize of R100000 in the Business of the Year category.