By Prasun Sonwalkar
One of the first residents of Patna, who made London his home and opened Britain'sfirst curry restaurant in 1810, was honoured with a plaque last week.
Sake Dean Mahomed established the Hindoostane Coffee House in George Street, Portman Square, central London. The premises is now a building called Carlton House.
The plaque celebrates the achievements of former Westminster residents.
Dean Mohamed joined the East India Company'sBengal Army at the age of 11 and rose to the rank of captain.
He is said to have fought in a number of campaigns until 1782, when he resigned from the army and arrived in Britain in 1784.
In Ireland, where he first settled, he married Jane Daly, and published his book Travels, which made him the first Indian writer to be published in English.
He later moved to Portman Square where he became an assistant to Sir Basil Cochrane at his vapour bath.
This is where Mahomed is said to have added an Indian treatment, ?champi? or therapeutic massage, to Cochrane'sbath, which became very fashionable.
In Brighton he established the Indian Therapeutic Massage at his Vapour Baths and rose to become George IV'sShampooing Surgeon. His books provide biographical details of his life in India and Britain.
In 1810, he opened the Hindoostane Coffee House serving Indian dishes as well as hookha with real chilm tobacco.
Dean Mahomed was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1812.
He died in 1851 and was buried in St Nicholas? churchyard in Brighton.
His tombstone says he was 102 years old.
Customers uneasy over outsourcing to India
A majority of banking customers in Britain are concerned over the increasing trend to move call centre and data processing jobs to offshore locations such as India, according to KPMG research.
More than two-third of bank customers surveyed said they would be very concerned if they knew their personal banking details were held in a customer service centre outside Britain and not subject to the country'sdata protection laws. Some 28 per cent said they would be ?slightly? concerned.
More than four in five said they are likely to move their bank account if they found their account details had been compromised or that other customers had lost money as a result of fraud.
HSBC and Aviva, Britain'slargest insures, have led the way in the effort to cut costs by moving thousands of call centre jobs to India. Other banks and insurers, such as Lloyds TSB and Prudential, have followed suit.
However, some have pledged to keep jobs local, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, Legal & General, Alliance & Leicester and the Cooperative Bank.
A spokesman for Amicus, a trade union, said the business case for taking jobs offshore had yet to be made and that high turnover of staff in Indian call and data centres was a hidden cost as well as a potential security risk.
Fraud against financial institutions was said to be growing?according to KPMG, it totalled 12.9 million pounds in the first half of the year.
Karen Briggs, head of regulatory services at KPMG Forensic, told the media: ?There have already been widely publicised instances of the selling of customer data … The crunch is likely to come if and when there is a breach of their account details and a fraud is committed. That is when the evidence shows that customers are likely to defect.?
(The writer is a UK-based journalist and can be contacted on [email protected])