Washington Business Journal: “Diversity in Business Awards: These 25 Honorees are Helping Pave New Paths” – Congrats Sahil Rahman, Co-Founder of RASA

Wednesday March 24, 2021

Washington Business Journal: Diversity in Business Awards: These 25 Honorees are Helping Pave New Paths,” March 18, 2021

From the Article:

Sahil Rahman says he pretty much learned how to walk inside Indian restaurants. His father, Surfy, immigrated from India in 1985 and, within a few years, was operating a bistro in Maryland. Sahil came into the world in 1990 and quickly found both playground and classroom inside the family business.

That upbringing gave him a front-row seat to what he calls “the evolution of the American palate” — a growing willingness from the public to sample cuisines from other countries. After college and a short stint in finance, Rahman found himself drawn back to the tastes of his youth. Alongside business partner Rahul Vinod, the son of his father’s restaurant partner, they hatched a plan to take Indian cuisine deeper into the collective inclination.

In 2017, they opened the first location of Rasa, a fast-casual Indian restaurant in Navy Yard. A build-your-own-bowl format presented Indian cuisine in new, yet familiar ways. Rasa hauled in $1.5 million in revenue in 2019 and raised money that year to fuel its growth. Former NFL tight end Vernon Davis, a D.C. native and fellow University of Maryland alum, is now among Rasa’s investors.

A second location in Mount Vernon Triangle followed in 2020 — just as the Covid-19 pandemic unleashed dining bans on the city. With the nearby Washington Convention Center and offices shut down, the restaurant quickly shuffled to help those in need.