Born in Kenya and raised in Ilford, Essex, Ritu rebelled against the traditional career choice of medicine and gained her LLB Honours from Bristol in 1988. Only a day after completing her Training Contract the industrious solicitor was made a Senior Partner at a medium sized firm and thought all her dreams had come true! However, worse was to come. Only in her mid-twenties and with two young children aged two years and six months, she was soon plunged into the deep end, managing over 50 staff and having to deal with bailiffs at the door-thanks to debts run up by a former partner of the business. On the brink of bankruptcy it was a case of sink or swim and Ritu had to find the inner strength to survive.
With hard work, late nights, numerous nannies, two loyal staff members and the support of a devoted husband, Sudhir Sethi (Director of Abbacus Computers Ltd) Ritu’s firm began to grow its clients and increase in numbers of staff. Within years Ritu had turned her fortunes around and in 1994 she created The Sethi Partnership Solicitors with thirty staff which has grown to become one of the most successful Legal Practices in Harrow, West London. The firm advise on a wide range of legal services from Criminal Law; Employment; Business; Immigration; Divorce; Child Care and Wills and Probate. In May 1999, Sethi Partnership Solicitors was the first legal practice to be awarded Investors in People and Lexcel-The Law Society’s practice management quality standard and is now often used as a role model firm for other law firms.
With the success of her firm, the Awards began to roll in and in August 2008 Ritu won the First Women Achievement Award in Business in association with CBI Magazine. Her name was propelled to new heights alongside fellow winners such as Kelly Hoppen (celebrity interior designer to the Beckhams) and fashion designer Nicole Farhi. She was also acknowledged for her professional services in the category of Law/Judiciary by the Indian International Foundation in May 2008. In November 2000, Ritu Sethi won the Asian Business Owner of the Year Award and in 2007 was a finalist for the Professional of the Year at the Asian Achievers Awards and the Professional Excellence Jewel Award.
But Ritu’s passion lies far beyond Law and although she has many other interests as a trained ITEC Beauty Therapist and YMCA Fitness instructor, she now splits her time between her Legal Practice and her passion for Media. Proving a successful TV host of chat show ‘Chai with Ritu’ (Sky MATV) Ritu believes that through the power of the media you can reach out to educating people in a positive way and has made it her personal interest to develop a platform for Asian people to come together and share, comment and advise each other on issues they face in a constructive way:
“Asian women can multitask without losing their minds but it is time we began to take steps to concentrate on our emotional health and well being. Through my chat show I became acquainted with many women who enjoyed having an intimate space to be able to come together and discuss and talk about issues they face from Family Life; Domestic Violence; Youth Culture; Careers; Health, Marriages etc. I overcame adversity to be in the position I am today and I believe through the power of Media there needs to be a mainstream platform for the Asian community to communicate positive messages to each other and society as a whole.”
The Awards Ceremony takes place on Saturday 22nd November at Whitehall Palace and the Red Carpet Event already has a host of stars, politicians, dignitaries and VIPs attending.