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Chirag Shah: “Driving on just electrical power is exhilarating”

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Name: 

Chirag Shah

Age

42

Company: 

The Ecurie Group, operating and franchising écurie25 Supercar Clubs 

Turnover: 

£5m

First job: 

Production Engineer, Rover Cars

Dream job:

I know it’s a cliche, but I bet I get told I have the best job in the world more often than anyone else. For me the idea of a business trip is hosting guests at the Monaco Grand Prix whilst drinking champagne on a yacht. Maybe Bernie Ecclestone’s job is better – but then he doesn’t get to drive in his own product.

Car: 

Fisker Karma (electric hybrid). Driving on just electric power is exhilarating and good for the soul. Plus I always have the stable of Ferraris and Lamborghinis back at the club when I need more of an adrenalin rush. 

Economy, business or first class: 

Economy with Business Class upgrades when I have sufficient air miles. 

Most extravagant purchase: 

In 2004 I opened a new office in Chicago and bought a Ford Thunderbird. By the time it had arrived I decided to return to the UK. I couldn’t face selling it, so I shipped it back with me to London and it has been in my garage with 1000 miles on the clock ever since.

Most played song on iPod: 

I can’t be bothered with downloading music – I’m just happy to listento whatever’s on the radio. My favourite song is Goodbye Yellowbrick Road by Elton John.

Best business book: 

Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey Moore – a ‘must read’ for all early stage entrepreneurs struggling with growth cycles.

Worst business moment: 

October 14th, 2008 – four weeks “post-Lehman” we had literally sold nothing for a month. I told my wife that I would have to shut down if we did not make any sales by Friday. On Friday, the Bank of England officially announced that we were in a recession and for some bizarre reason that I will never understand we made three sales that same day.

Proudest business moment: 

Receiving a Sunday Times “Best Companies to Work For” award in 2006, because it is something that employees of a company apply for and not management.

Business mentor: 

Lord David Sainsbury, through the Sainsbury’s Management Fellows Scheme. He has formulated a programme that combines business education and peer-to-peer networking to help young engineers become successful business leaders and that has been a great inspiration for me. 

Next big thing: 

A friend and I have just launched a new iPhone game called Assassin Live – it takes the game of Paintball into the real world by tracking and shooting each other using the GPS on users’ iPhones.

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