Charan Gill talks to Tandoori

Posted on Movers and Shakers May 2010 - by Tandoori Magazine
Charan Gill talks to Tandoori

Charan Gill, Scotland’s Renowned Restaurateur, Entrepreneur and Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire Star Talks to Tandoori.


What made you become a restaurateur all those years ago?

Becoming a restaurateur was not a conscious choice. My friend had a restaurant and he asked me to help him out behind the bar at weekends. That restaurant was called the Ashoka West End and I didn’t know at the time that one day I would buy out my friend and own a large chain of restaurants.


You sold the Harlequin Leisure Group in 2005. So why have you returned to the industry with the opening of Slumdog Bar & Kitchen in Glasgow?

As always, opportunity is the main driver. During a recession can be the best time to start a business. Two years back, the prices of properties in the area Slumdog is were very high. With property prices and interest rates being so low now, the figures stacked up so I decided to go back in.


You are offering Stand-up nights at Slumdog and have also done a Stand-up night yourself - what made you do that and does comedy come naturally to you?

One has to have a sense of humour when running any business. The stress levels can be very high and if you cannot stand back and see the funny side of most tragic situations, frankly, you would go mad. I always thought I had a good sense of humour and I have always enjoyed being on stage as a singer. Once I got to old to jump about on the stage I decided to stand still and tell funny stories.


Did the experience of the Secret Millionaire programme teach you anything long-lasting particularly as you were dealing with people less fortunate than you?

I enjoyed filming the Secret Millionaire because it provided me with the challenge to see if I could find employment and make ends meet on very little income. It wasn’t difficult for me to live in that environment because it wasn’t that long ago when my personal financial circumstances were similar to those. It did help me to reflect on how far I had come.


What is a typical working day for you?

I am a morning person so I am up around 6.30am. I like to take my time in the morning getting ready, but I get to my office for 9am. After that its just meetings and work on whatever needs doing - I don’t take lunch - and four out of the seven nights I will finish and be home for 6pm. There are evenings when I have to be in the restaurant, but this is usually to socialise with the many friends who come in. Some nights are also taken up with my public speaking. Most nights I get to bed before midnight.


Who would be your ideal dinner guests and why?

Twice a month I host a “Captains Table” at my restaurant. We have 12 invited guests, these are usually friends and or business associates of professionals. We have good food, fine wine and lots of debate and try to solve the problems of the world. I would love to have the great and good from the world of media, sport, politics and entertainment to come along and join us.


What are your hobbies and how do you relax?

I relax by singing. I also try to take time off and take holidays, and spend time at home.

 

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who worked hard, played hard and gave something back.

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