Tempe restaurateur Raveen Arora, who recreated the cuisine of his Indian homeland, has won the 2017 Arizona Diversity Council’s DiversityFirst Award for his civic leadership, advocacy and outreach efforts.
Naming his Punjabi restaurant The Dhaba, Arora adapted the cultural tradition of India and Pakistan, where roadside dhabas provide casual seating and classic clay-oven (tandoor) baked cuisine, according to a press release.
Arora's background includes working with Mother Teresa in Calcutta slums, caring for Tibetan refugees and becoming an accountant before settling in Tempe 15 years ago to open his business there.
Now an entrepreneur and philanthropist as well as a motivational speaker, Arora has won numerous awards and serves on several local boards.
He was chosen “for being a true advocacy leader for diversity and inclusion,” said Dennis Kennedy, founder and chairman of the National Diversity Council. Arora will formally receive the award at an 11:30 a.m. event Oct. 5 at Arizona State University.
“I firmly believe that diversity is not just a feel-good or look good activity, but a human lens for seeking, identifying and promoting talent,” Arora said.
The Dhaba is at 1872 E Apache Blvd. in Tempe’s India Plaza.