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James Caan From The Dragon's Den

Friday, 24 October 2008

James Caan is launching his autobiography The Real Deal.
- From Brick Lane to Dragon's Den.

James Caan. (Formerly known as Nazam Khan)
. He's a Dragon on BBC2's Dragon's Den. A programme about entrepreneurs pitching ideas in order to secure investment from a panel of business whiz kids or 'Dragons.'
. Each contestant believes they have a potentially profitable idea but sadly all lack funding to make it work.
. James joined Peter Jones, Duncan Bannantyne, Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden.
. Due to his desire to have a good business address, but, at the time, his lack of funding, James began working out of a room the size of a shoe box.
. Most likely to say - "My passion is for building businesses - but I back people rather than just their ideas."

Business info:
1. James is British, an entrepreneur of Pakistani origin.
2. CEO of private equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw. Specialises in buyouts, venture capital, real estate developments, etc.,
3. Been building and selling businesses since the 1980's.
4. Last year, in October, he joined the panel of Dragon's Den.
5. Founded recruitment company Alexander Mann Group in 1985. Turnover of £130m (€165,460m). He sold it in 2002.
6. Having founded the Alexander Mann Group in 1985, a recruitment company with a turnover of £130m and operations in 50 countries, Caan sold the company in 2002.
7. 2001 - Awarded BT Enterprise of the Year' award for outstanding success in business.
8. 2003 - Awarded 'Entrepreneur of the Year' - Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
9. 2003 - Graduated Harvard Business School.
10. 2006 - Set up the James Caan Foundation to help children in both the western and the developing world.

The Book: The Real Deal - From Brick Lane to Dragon's Den
The Price: €24.00
Available: Waterstones, Dawson Street.

The following rules for success are courtesy of

1. Ambition is nothing without passion

Anyone can be enthusiastic. Passion is having the character to continue with an idea once that initial emotion has gone. You have got to have that conviction and unquestioning belief in what you are doing in order to be successful.
2. Presentation and preparation matter
If you do not make the best of yourself and present your idea in a clear manner, how can anyone believe that you will do the best for your business?
3. Prove your product
Have you got a good product with verified market acceptability? Market acceptability means that it has been demonstrated to a number of people who have come back and said yes, this is something I would like to buy. I certainly wouldn't invest in something that is no more than a plan on a piece of paper. Showing that you are able to execute your plans effectively is paramount.
4. Do your sums
Make sure that the figures stack up. Nobody is going to be interested in doing business with you if they can't see a return.
5. You can and must learn from failure
Entrepreneurs need to be prepared for things not working out as planned. They have to be prepared to make sacrifices for the business and be prepared for taking risks. Persistence is essential - who dares wins!
6. If you win, somebody else doesn't have to lose
Adopt a win-win formula. A lot of businesspeople walk around with an attitude of "I must win", which in practice often means "winning" at the expense of someone else. To really succeed in the long term, you need to make sure that the people around you win too.
7. Your people are your business
How are your leadership skills? Successful entrepreneurs are rarely one-man bands and exceptional communication skills are vital.
8. Complacency is your enemy
No matter how successful you are, you should never rest on your laurels. Every year you should be wondering how to replicate or build on the success of the year before. It's an ongoing thing - you're never home and dry.
9. Don't work too hard
There are times in business when you have to put everything on one side and really go for it, but there's no point working seven days a week if you don't take time to enjoy life.