Managing Director and Founder of Ghazel Mahel Honored at the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Sept. 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Twenty outstanding Malaysian entrepreneurs and organizations were honored at the recently concluded Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2019 or APEA held at InterContinental Kuala Lumpur on 6 September 2019.

Leslie Gomez Receiving the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards under Outstanding Category

Leslie Gomez Receiving the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards under Outstanding Category

An initiative by Malaysia-based Enterprise Asia, APEA is the largest regional recognition programme, with over 3,000 nominations received each year, and less than one tenth of that receiving the awards in all 14 markets. With the theme of 'Promoting Inclusive Economic Development Through Sustainable Entrepreneurship', over 300 attendees were present at the by-invitation only awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, comprising of industry leaders and dignitaries.

Leading the list of winners was Leslie Gomez, Managing Director and Founder of Ghazel Mahel Sdn Bhd (The Olive Tree Group) who received the award under outstanding category.

About Leslie Gomez

Leslie established himself as a pioneer within the Malaysian hospitality industry since arriving in Malaysia in the year 2000. Following a couple of years of experience in India's leading hotel chain, The Taj, the entrepreneur embarked on a career of a few years as an operation manager with a prominent hospitality group in Malaysia. He then made the move to establish his own restaurant business in 2003 and has since seen the growth and the diversification of the organization.

With the introduction of The Olive Tree Group in the year 2003, Leslie launched the company and has guided it from strength to strength and now heads the group as Founder and Managing Director. By getting international chefs mainly from India and local chefs; has further served Leslie's reputation of bringing authentic cuisine with superior quality and service to the Malaysian landscape.

Setting his roots in Changkat, Bukit Bintang, he started his empire with the introduction of Ghazal Mahel, now known asSutraa Kitchen + Bar. Back in the days, there were mainly a few restaurants, a handful of small bars and a 7-11. The expansion did have its highs and lows as some outlets withstood the test of time.

Amongst the challenges, Sutraa Kitchen + Bar has managed to prevail in Changkat, Bukit Bintang for the past 10 years. Under Leslie's management and guidance, the group has expanded to over 18 outlets with 400+ employees. He has spread his wings across the peninsula by establishing outlets in Penang, Malacca and Johor. Leslie envisions an overseas expansion soon across the strait in Singapore.

Today, The Olive Tree Group is now recognized as one of Malaysia's places to not only relax with a few drinks but also a place where one could have a proper dining experience. As the Founder and Executive Director of the company, Leslie has been approached regularly by local media for industry comments, write-ups and quotes.

Leslie has led the company to establish themselves with high recognition in the business world with many accolades and awards from travel magazine companies. From 2003-2019, the company has been awarded the distinction as one of the best places to visit, eat and drink with several awards under his belt, the many restaurants and bars have also been awarded by Trip Advisor as a good place to have amazing Northern Indian Food. Gastro-sports bar like Rock Bottom has been listed on social media as the place to be, to have the full package at customers' fingertips for an amazing night out.

As the business is developing nationally, standing at 18 outlets at present, Leslie hopes to soon develop his brands "Rock Bottom and Rockafellers" internationally and grow his business from there. He believes that people all over the world should see and enjoy the amazing combinations of Northern Indian Cuisine/ gastro-sports bar concept.

Success Formula

Leslie prides himself on how far along he has come and how far he aspires to go, he has the self-belief in the brand and the organization. His success formula can be broken down into brainstorming ideas, attempt, learning from mistakes, improvising on ideas, executing on the plan, learning from others, improvising again, and finally, success. The entrepreneur holds to an old school style of management that is rooted in fine dining and hospitality which has worked out well for him in the expansion of the group.

Future Plans

Leslie's vision is to make The Olive Tree Group the ultimate entertainment destination, as well as the ideal location for events or gatherings, with a dedicated team of friendly and obliging staff who strive for perfection in catering to guests every want and need. His mission is to specialize in the development of fine and quality dining experience throughout Malaysia. The entrepreneur's one piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs would be to "Do what you love and love what you do".

PR Newswire is the News Release Distribution Partner of APEA Malaysia.

About Enterprise Asia

Enterprise Asia is a non-governmental organization in pursuit of creating an Asia that is rich in entrepreneurship as an engine towards sustainable and progressive economic and social development within a world of economic equality. Its two pillars of existence are investment in people and responsible entrepreneurship. Enterprise Asia works with governments, NGOs and other organizations to promote competitiveness and entrepreneurial development, in uplifting the economic status of people across Asia and in ensuring a legacy of hope, innovation and courage for the future generation. For further information, visit

About Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards

Launched in 2007, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards is the region's most prestigious awards for outstanding entrepreneurship, continuous innovation and sustainable leadership. The Award provides a platform for companies and governments to recognize entrepreneurial excellence, hence spurring greater innovation, fair business practices and growth in entrepreneurship. As a regional award, it groups together leading entrepreneurs as a powerful voice for entrepreneurship and serves as a by-invitation only networking powerhouse. The program has grown to encompass 14 countries and markets all over Asia. For further information, visit

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