Industry Speak


Kalpesh Sampat

SPF Foods
The Monk Group of Restaurants

As an Operating Consultant, Akhilesh oversaw the business stabilization & growth for our restaurant chain in Dubai, The Monk, over a three-year period from 2014-16.

Once our operations and expansion were stabilized, Akhilesh himself recommended his services were not critical anymore and the Manager along-with the team should manage day to day operations, going forward. This is very rare and highlights principles of the highest standard.

Akhilesh is a professional with impeccable credentials. His vision, expertise, customer service levels, diligence and commitment are all exemplary and well above any ordinary expectations.



Sanjay Duggal

Stellar Eastern Franchising Advisory

During the time that I've known Akhilesh, there are some words that I’ve come to unmistakably associate with him, a few of which are... knowledgeable, articulate, smart and professional.

In the food and beverage arena, besides having developed some impressive original concepts,
he has also been instrumental in breathing new life into pre-existing ones, which as anyone
from the industry will testify, is a far more daunting proposition.

Having seen him in action with his team, his spirit of camaraderie and meticulous attention to detail truly stand out. Ever the gentleman, Akhilesh personifies a contemporary dynamic leader, who has his finger on the pulse of the market and is a pleasure to deal with. I sincerely wish him a lot more success in the future.


Sunjeh Raja

Director & CEO,
International Centre for Culinary Arts - ICCA.

I have known Akhilesh for well over ten years now, as a good friend, a colleague in the industry, also a partner in several interesting initiatives and industry engagements.

His vast hands-on experience in the industry in the area of operations, his penchant for business development, the ability to deliver a top of the line brand experience are all remarkably noteworthy. 
As a seasoned speaker and moderator at several industry conferences, he is an absolute delight with his authoritative knowledge and articulate approach.

I wish him all success with his firm Malt & Salt, which is very well renowned in providing end to end turnkey solutions for Hospitality.


Rabia Khan

Oleum Trading LLC


Anwar Ali Khan

Adsum Capital
Dubai International Financial Centre

Dubai is a place like no other. Our community is transient by nature. Millions of people arrive here every year for work or tourism.

A majority of these people are well travelled and discerning by nature, which is why Dubai constantly strives to stay ahead of trends in order to maintain it’s status as a destination of choice.  But, equally, our economy is cyclical.

Businesses, like trends, fade at lightning speed. We are used to seeing new shops and restaurants open all the time.  It is important, for those of us in the business community that call Dubai home, to understand these cycles and trends and adapt accordingly.

Akhilesh is one such person. In a community where longevity is a rare word, he has guided many businesses through the rigour of setting up and, subsequently, seeing them fulfill their potential.  His experience in understanding local laws, customs and customers is second to none. He is professional and highly diligent with all his client dealings. By engaging him at the outset, we believe any firm would be prevented from making expensive mistakes.  We would highly recommend his services to ANY firm considering establishing a business in the UAE.


Vishal Pandey

Glasgow Consulting Group

A thorough F&B professional – operator, manager and mentor is what I would describe Akhilesh as. A no-nonsense and level headed professional who would always roll up his sleeves and lead from the front. Have seen him taking F&B brands like The Monk and Chin Chin to greater heights by a 360 degree pivoting of their business and delivery models.

We have worked on multiple projects together over the years including a few editions of Middle East Food Forum (MEFF), a unique platform that attracts the most progressive and influential restaurateurs, restaurant brands, developers, investors and consultants. He is a great Keynote Speaker, Moderator and Panelist across the region’s top industry forums and platforms. He remains my first port of call for brainstorming anything F&B. He can dissect the F&B industry well from a perspective you ask him to examine it.

I wish him much success always and more accolades going forward.


Daniel Simpson

Director and Owner,
District Bars

What sets Akhilesh apart is his tireless work ethic, attention to detail and focus level. I always found him to be free thinking and a committed person who carries through on his commitments and always leads by example.

I have known Akhilesh from the first day he moved to Dubai to build his professional career in this great city. Being involved in multiple hospitality start-ups and concept developments, we worked together in many roles & responsibilities over the years, across industries too, from Hospitality to Real Estate. Akhilesh always came across as being highly diligent, very hard working & committed and extremely astute in his business dealings with a high professional demeanour.

Over the years, I have seen him grow in Hospitality as a thorough professional bringing to all his operations & restaurants huge success, reputation & recognition. With Malt & Salt, Akhilesh has set a new benchmark of a paradigm shift in Restaurant Operations & Consulting bringing his years of experience into developing & delivering fantastic venues, great teams & excellence in operating them.

Malt & Salt brings something unique to the hospitality consultancy market; drive, energy and a depth of experience that few companies can rival. I feel strongly that without the involvement of Malt & Salt in not only our start-up arrangements but also ongoing consultation and development, we would not be where we are today. They ensure all levels of operation are not only high, but stay high.