Mo Chaudry

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Mo Chaudry
Personal details
Born
Mohammed Ishaq Chaudry

(1960-09-21) 21 September 1960 (age 59)
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
NationalityBritish
Spouse(s)
Ann Chaudry (m. 1987)
ChildrenShaheen
Josephine
Charmaine
ResidenceNewcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
OccupationEntrepreneur, property investor, leisure investor, sports management, motivational speaker

Mohammed Ishaq "Mo" Chaudry (born 21 September 1960) is a well-known British/Asian entrepreneur, property investor, leisure investor, financial advisor, fitness enthusiast, motivational speaker, columnist, and sports manager. He spent his early years in Pakistan, before travelling to England and building an estimated fortune of more than £100m, confirming himself as one of the most influential and successful businessmen in the country. Chaudry is notable for his time as chairman of WaterWorld aqua park, the biggest of its kind in the UK, from 1999 to the present day, and for his M Club fitness centres. In 2018, he acquired a majority stake in Pulse Group, the leisure equipment and provision giant partnering more than 10,000 leisure facilities in 32 countries across 5 continents. He also appeared in the Channel 4 TV series Secret Millionaire[1] and has made a number of other TV appearances. He is the manager of World's Strongest Man Eddie Hall and sponsors Paralympic medal-winning rower Ian Marsden.

Early life[edit]

Mo Chaudry was born in the Rawalpindi District of Pakistan.[2] He is the son of strongman and ex-soldier Iqbal Chaudry.[3] At the age of 8 he moved, with his family, to Luton, England, where he attended Denbigh Junior and then Beech Hill High School.[4] Upon first moving to England, Chaudry could not speak a word of English (only Punjabi)[2] and coped with negative attention by developing a combination of both fighting and communication skills. When his father began a mini-supermarket business, the family moved to a bigger home in Telford, Shropshire. Mo won a place at Wellington Grammar School and later attended New College, Telford, where he passed his O-levels and A-levels. Following this, he graduated with a degree in sports science from Madeley College of Physical Education, part of North Staffordshire Polytechnic.[5] After graduating, Chaudry started work in the financial services industry, firstly as an insurance canvasser for General Portfolio [6] and then setting up his own financial services business. He made his first million, as an independent financial adviser and property investor, by the age of 30.[7]

Ventures[edit]

WaterWorld[edit]

In 1999, whilst seeking a potential business investment, Chaudry bought the failing WaterWorld aqua park from The Rank Group, for £1.5 million. Starting a major £10 million refurbishment, Chaudry quickly made WaterWorld a popular attraction. He managed to make a profit in the first year[6] and has continued to do so every year since. The WaterWorld complex now receives over 400,000 visitors annually[8] and is regarded as the most profitable water-based visitor attraction in the UK.[citation needed] Chaudry has continued to expand and develop Waterworld and in 2018 announced plans for four new rides as well as vast expansion of the site, housing an 18,000sqft golf facility as well as the relocated M Club premium gym. An outdoor ‘boot camp’ area with jogging and running tracks will also be created, while the site will be linked to the Trent and Mersey Canal, creating a new pedestrian access. The scheme will create 60 jobs and bring an extra 150,000 visitors to the attraction.

M Club Spa and Fitness[edit]

In May 2011, it was announced that Esporta Health Club in Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent, would close; leaving 2,500 club members looking for an alternative and causing the loss of over 40 local jobs.[9] As a member of Esporta for 12 years, Chaudry put in a successful takeover bid for his new venture – M Club Spa and Fitness. He reopened the club within two months.

M Investment Group[edit]

M Investment Group is a broad portfolio of businesses owned by Chaudry, ranging across interests including leisure, property, and multiple other interests.

Personal life[edit]

Whilst working as a bouncer at The Place nightclub in Staffordshire, Chaudry met his wife Ann. They got married on 5 March 1987 and have three daughters (Shaheen, Josephine and Charmaine.[10]) Chaudry and his wife currently live in the Staffordshire countryside.

In 2008, Chaudry became the only person to have received honorary degrees from both Staffordshire universities in the same year[11] (namely Keele University and Staffordshire University).

Two years later, he was awarded the 'Star of Pakistan'[12] (the highest civil award) at the Pakistani Achievement Awards, which recognises individuals of Pakistani origin for excellence and positive contributions to the image of Pakistan, and who act as best example of Britishness.[12] In recent years, Chaudry has become a campaigner against injustice, taking a stand against forced marriage[13] and attempting to join the British National Party[14] to highlight their racist constitution.

Charity work[edit]

In 2015, Chaudry was part of a team which rowed 500 nautical miles from Tower Bridge in London to the Eiffel Tower in Paris to raise money for the Donna Louise hospice.[15] Chaudry is also founder of the M Club Foundation, set up to help local good causes and youngsters realise their dreams. To raise funds for the National Deaf Children's Society, he participated in a desert bike ride in the Middle East.[7] He has also been a fund-raiser for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Chaudry founded and supports the Al Amir Foundation School in his home village in Pakistan – a middle school for around 200 children.[16] Chaudry provided land for the school and financed its start-up. Chaudry is an Ambassador for The Princes' Trust[17] and on the speaking Bureau for Mosaic[18] (one of Prince Charles' Charities). As part of Prince Charles's Seeing is Believing programme,[19] in 2010, Chaudry toured Pakistan and visited areas affected by floods.

Secret Millionaire[edit]

Chaudry appeared in the second series of the UK television programme, Secret Millionaire, on Channel 4 (first broadcast on Wednesday 12 December 2007).[1] A reality television show; it documented Chaudry going incognito into the Harehills district of Leeds – home to the city's largest Asian and ethnic community – and donating £30,000 to good causes.[1]

Step Up[edit]

In conjunction with Mitchell Business and Enterprise College, Chaudry set up Step Up;[20] a pilot mentoring project, designed to inspire community cohesion, raise aspirations and tackle unemployment. Step Up provided students with an opportunity to work at WaterWorld and other businesses in Stoke-on-Trent.

Sport[edit]

Chaudry's natural sporting talents were put to the test at university, where he won a silver medal in weightlifting at the 1982 Student Olympics and bronze in 1983.[7] An avid cricket player; while studying at New College, Telford, he won caps for Warwickshire County Cricket Club (under 19s). Later, as a player for Shifnall CC, Telford, he won full Shropshire CCC caps.[21] He has also won plaudits for his martial arts and amateur boxing exploits.

Sponsorship and support[edit]

Chaudry sponsored and managed Eddie Hall from truck mechanic to World's Strongest Man. He then added his backing to North Staffordshire ex-Hollyoaks actress Rachel Shenton and her subsequently Oscar-winning short The Silent Child, and he is now sponsoring Paralympic rower Ian Marsden to what will hopefully be gold at Tokyo in 2020.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Secret Millionaire – Mo Chaudry". Channel 4. 12 December 2007. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b http://www.mochaudry.co.uk/wp-content/themes/mo-chaudry/downloads/News/asian_lite_profile.pdf
  3. ^ https://www.ft.com/content/c4018e86-fcdb-11dc-961e-000077b07658
  4. ^ http:// www.mochaudry.co.uk/wp-conten/themes/mo-chaudry/downloads/News/Staffs_Uni_-_Honoured.doc
  5. ^ SCF. "Mo Chaudry Fund". Staffsfoundation.org.uk. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  6. ^ a b http://www.mochaudry.co.uk/wp-content/themes/mo-chaudry/downloads/News/FT_REPORT_29.03.08.pdf
  7. ^ a b c "Biography". Mochaudry.co.uk. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  8. ^ WaterWorld 2000: The UK's No.1 Indoor Tropical Aqua Park
  9. ^ 2,500 members are affected by closure of club
  10. ^ http://www.mochaudry.co.uk/wp-content/themes/mo-chaudry/downloads/News/Mo-takes-marriage-vow.pdf
  11. ^ Mo Chaudry
  12. ^ a b "WaterWorld Chairman honoured at Pakistani Achievement Awards". Mochaudry.co.uk. 7 August 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  13. ^ "First national forced marriage helpline launched". Mochaudry.co.uk. 11 April 2008. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  14. ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/asian-millionaire-to-fight-bnp-from-the-inside-1907180.html
  15. ^ https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/entrepreneur-interviews/entrepreneurs/mo-chaudry-multi-million-pound-leisure-empire/
  16. ^ Mo Chaudry sponsors Al Amir Foundation Public School – YouTube
  17. ^ http://www.mochaudry.co.uk/?p=756
  18. ^ Mosaic – Latest News | Charity Updates
  19. ^ http://www.mochaudry.co.uk/?p=303
  20. ^ Step-Up Challenge | Mo Chaudry | Mitchell Business and Enterprise College
  21. ^ BBC – Mo Chaudry sponsors North Staffordshire cricket