The illustrious entrepreneur Vidya Maharaj is taking her distinguished career in a bold new direction.
Vidya was initially an epidemiologist by trade, having worked directly with the CDC. This led to a position as the VP of Clinical Operations and Development for a pharma consulting firm that specialized in working with companies and biotechs – from concept to post-marketing of drugs with FDA approval.
Now, Vidya is the proud owner and executive chef at Diya Miami, a Rookman Group company. Vidya and her family have grown their restaurant into one of Miami Beach’s most successful fusion eateries with their unique blend of vegan and Indian cuisine.
Diya Miami gives Vidya the opportunity to explore her passion for cooking and spend time with her family.
Diya Miami is a family-owned and operated restaurant. Vidya has always been passionate about cooking, so when her brothers ventured into the restaurant industry for the first time, she decided to seize the moment and take on the role of executive chef. Excited to be working together and exploring a new industry, the Maharaj family officially opened Diya Miami in January of 2020.
Even when the pandemic slowed business to a crawl, Vidya never gave up hope. “We had our work cut out for us, but we stuck together and put in the hours, just like our parents taught us,” she says. “In the end, everything worked out, and our business is alive and well today.”
One of the things Vidya loves most about the job is the opportunity to work with her family. Everyone contributes an important function to the business’ continued success and survival. With Vidya as executive chef and head of business development; her sister-in-law Valerie Slone running HR and operations; her brother Dharam overseeing the day-to-day management of staff and operations; and her older brother Munesh managing fundraising and networking for the business, Diya Miami appears to be in very good hands.
Vidya is passionate about empowering women in the workforce.
Vidya was recently inducted into Chief, an organization for successful women. Chief’s goal is to drive more women into positions of power. It is currently the only organization for high-level professional women. They help women to develop valuable connections, strengthen their skills, and reach higher positions in the workforce. Chief currently has a waitlist of 30,000 women. For Vidya, her induction and membership serve as a welcome recognition of the heights she’s reached and the struggles she’s overcome.
Bound for even greater success, Vidya hopes to bring others along with her.
Over the next few years, Vidya expects to be focused on growing her family’s restaurant and finding ways to support and empower other entrepreneurs and professionals. “I envision myself inspiring other people, women in particular, in corporate America,” she says. With her amazing work ethic, endurance, and ambition, she’s sure to accomplish her goals.