Peter Dubens – the money machine

Peter Dubens’ interview continues from page three.

Outside of Oakley, Peter Dubens also holds a certain number of personal investments, such as Humyo, the online storage business set up by Dan Conlon (the entrepreneur behind DonHost, and one of our 30:30 Vision winners).

Peter Dubens lights up upon mentioning Humyo: “It’s a brilliant, brilliant business, run by a guy who is a great entrepreneur. When I met him, it was one of those ‘this is definitely the future’ moments. It’s superb.”

Chelsea-born, Chelsea-bred

One of the more interesting facets to Peter Dubens’ life is his attachment to Chelsea, where he grew up and lives now with his wife and three daughters.

He is a strong supporter of Chelsea businesses. “I’m very emotionally tied to the area. When people come to me for support, I want to help them.” On top of his investment in Chelsea’s exclusive KX Gym, he’s also a major investor in Tom Aikens, the chef whose restaurants dot the capital.

“Before meeting Tom, I’d never eaten in one of his restaurants. But he employs more than 100 people in the area and he needed help.” So Peter Dubens ploughed his expertise into turning Aikens’s business around.


Turning Britain around

Our interview with Peter Dubens takes place a few days after the general election. No-one knows yet who will make up the next government and Dubens is fired up: “We can’t have another non-elected prime minister and a coalition – the country needs strong decision making. It needs change. Britain was being run with its overheads way over its revenue.”

This is classic Peter Dubens – he applies business principles and business vernacular to everything. He’s a die-hard money-making businessman. It runs through his veins.

 

Peter Dubens on…

Getting involved

“I only get involved when we have difficult decisions to make. Otherwise, we try to allow the operators to run the business. Stepping in and stepping out, both in life and in business, is a disaster. You’re either in it or you’re not in it.”

The new chancellor

“He has to lower the country’s overheads and provide more business to the SME market rather than large corporates. 
The new chancellor also needs to massively encourage small and medium-sized businesses to be successful – success shouldn’t be a disincentive.”

Being lucky

“For entrepreneurs to be successful, they have to be lucky. It sounds weird, but some people are lucky and some people aren’t lucky. I’m very lucky.”

The internet

“We’re still at the early stages of the internet in a weird way. Broadband only really took off in 2003-04. There are seven billion people in the world – one billion of which are online. Only 400 million of those are on high-speed internet. There are still incredible opportunities.”

 

Photography: David Short

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