We talk to Michelle Mone, the Ultimo Lingerie founder about her philosophy for staying ahead when times are hard
They met at Anita Roddick’s funeral. Clive Stafford Smith, founder of Reprieve, had a word with Mo and Mark Constantine, co-founders of Lush, about the plight of prisoners held without trial in Guantanamo Bay. “He had a slogan, Buy one, set one free. It was too good to miss,” says Mo.
Canary Wharf is synonymous with men and women in suits, business and sky scrappers. And unless it is an evening in the pub after a hard day’s work, fun is not necessarily the word that springs into mind when one thinks about the business district which has over 80,000 workers and the tallest building in Britain – One Canada Square. But in the cold winter days, the site is totally transformed. Laugh, fun and, for some, a lot of skills are on show at the ice rink in the centre of it all. The businessman behind such enterprise is the Canadian Brian Jokat.
James Caan is not a man to let the grass grow under his feet. By the age of 40 he was a self-made millionaire, having created and sold two executive headhunting firms.
But rather than sailing off into the sunset with G&T in hand, Caan has since graduated from the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School, become a mentor for MBA students at London Business School, and set up a private equity firm, which currently has four companies in its investment portfolio. Oh, and become the latest dragon on Dragon’s Den, where on top of filming obligations, he has already taken three entrepreneurial charges under his wing.
Jack Petchey OBE is a remarkable self made successful business man and entrepreneur, giving away his millions to help young people because he believes passionately that we all have a duty to give something back to society.
Jack, aged 82, was born in London’s East End into a loving but humble family. He left school aged 14 without any qualifications and after a stint in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, Jack went back to his job as a clerk but soon found that he was not rated very highly by his bosses and was told he would never make a successful businessman. Undeterred Jack went on to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Britain and a prominent businessman and property developer.
His credentials are impeccable – Harvard, McKinsey, Bain Capital, Stanford Business School. A career as a consultant or CXO of a blue chip company beckoned. But following a dodgy encounter with a ticket tout intent on fleecing him for tickets to a Lion King concert, Eric Baker turned his back on the blue chips to enter the then murky world of secondary ticketing.
It’s said that Clive Sinclair, the man who developed the prototype of the Amstrad PC, once tried to explain the computer’s technical specifications to Alan Sugar. ‘I don’t care if they have rubber bands in them,’ replied Sugar, the Amstrad boss, ‘as long as they work.’
Jo Russell talks to Tim Richards, the CEO of the Vue Cinema group about how he left the Hollywood party world to start his own cinema group above a shop in Chiswick.
Grant Bovey was doing business over in Dubai when he spotted a market opportunity to sell properties to people interested in investing in the UK market.
Despite having no property experience whatsoever he decided to give it try. “I came back from Dubai and thought about buying a block of properties and market there. But clearly I needed to come up with something different.”