Lord Alan Sugar has scored many goals in his journey to become one of Britain's best known business magnates, but at heart he remains the down-to-earth man whose common sense and savvy have guided his entrepreneurial skills throughout his life.
According to the Sunday Times Rich List, Lord Alan joined the Billionaire’s Club in 2015, and in 2016 was ranked as the 95th richest person in the UK.
Aside from his business interests, Lord Sugar is well known to British TV viewers as the austere task-master on the hit BBC TV show The Apprentice, in which candidates have the chance to prove their entrepreneurial skills and become his business partner. Lord Sugar may not be the sweetest of prospective bosses, but he is certainly one of the most entertaining, and, actually, one of the fairest, as the winning (and losing) candidates would testify. The show first aired in 2005, and during the intervening years Lord Sugar has given the winning contestants a chance to follow in his footsteps. Other TV appearances include An Audience Without Jeremy Beadle, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (celebrity special), The Real Sir Alan, and Lord Sugar Tackles Football.
Born into a working class family in the London borough of Hackney, after leaving school at 16, Alan worked briefly for the civil service as a statistician at the Ministry of Education. He then started selling car aerials and other electrical goods. His subsequent founding of the electronics firm Amstrad in 1968 was the springboard to his fortune as a businessman; he succeeded by sticking to a simple equation that he has never forgotten - hard work comes first: fame and fortune comes later. In 1980, Amstrad was listed on the London Stock Exchange and over the following decade the company doubled its profits and market value each and every year. Alan sold his remaining stake in the consumer electronics company in 2007.
Lord Sugar's many other business interests include Amsair Executive Aviation and Amsprop (both run by his son Daniel), as well as electronic advertising company Amscreen (run by his eldest son, Simon).
Lord Sugar's venture into the world of sport in the 1980s saved Tottenham Hotspur from the brink of bankruptcy and once he was Chairman, he did his utmost to ensure that the club became the focal point of local life once again.
In addition, Sir Alan was the driving force behind the Excalibur Scholarship in 1993, a scheme that established opportunities for graduates from former Eastern Block countries to study in Europe. He recruited twenty-one leading British companies as sponsors, raising over £1.5 million in the process. In addition, The Alan Sugar Foundation, established in 1986, has donated over £3.5 million to charity, as well as a donation of £3.5 million to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for their Wishing Well Appeal.
Alan Sugar was knighted in 2000 for services to British industry and received his peerage in 2009.
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- Founder and CEO of The Carphone Warehouse, widely respected and admired as one of the UK's most dynamic entrepreneurs.
Sir Charles Dunstone
- Economic journalist and author of the acclaimed work on the future, The World in 2020: Power, Culture and Prosperity.
- Former rugby World Cup hero and winner of Dancing on Ice.