Born in a small village in the Punjab and arriving in Glasgow at the age of nine without being able to speak a word of English, Charan proceeded to make his fortune building Harlequin Restaurants, Europe’s biggest curry empire. But Charan’s biggest challenge yet came last year when, late one night, he boasted to a friend in a bar that he was going to write his own autobiography.
His friend, who knew that Charan had left school at the age of fifteen without any qualifications and a limited vocabulary, immediately challenged him to a £5 bet that he would not complete his book within the year. Today, only ten months later, sees the publication of ‘Tikka Look at me Now’ from Black & White Publishing.
‘I immediately regretted making that hasty boast,’ admitted Charan. ‘The morning after the night before is when most of us forget the drunken bar bets and move on to more pressing matters – but that’s the difference between boasters and achievers. So, with the chance of winning a £5 bet giving me all the motivation I needed, I immediately dusted down my old laptop and sat down to write my autobiography, using my usual two finger typing technique!’
Several months later, Charan had completed the book which not only provides an inspiring tale for budding entrepreneurs, but also gives a funny and fascinating insight into the life of a man who is living proof that we really can do anything.we just have to believe that we can.
Although Charan makes reference to the bet in his book, he deliberately kept the identity of his betting partner as a closely guarded secret until publication day. Today, Charan can reveal the identity of his betting partner as bra tycoon Michelle Mone.
Michelle said, ‘I never doubted Charan’s ability to write a book, but, because he is so busy with various business interests, I did doubt that he would be able to find the time to finish it on time But I’m more than happy to present him with a £5 note as proof of his mantra that ‘anything is possible’.’
But though the prospect of winning a £5 bet gave Charan all the motivation he needed to put pen to paper, his autobiography is not a money-making exercise. Instead, Charan has pledged to donate all his proceeds from the publication of Tikka Look at me Now to the Harlequin Charitable Trust which will subsequently distribute monies amongst a number of worthy causes.
To launch his autobiography, Charan wore a shehrvani – an Indian/Scottish tartan dress which he designed himself. The only garment of its kind in the world, Charan announced plans for the launch of a unique range of tartan shehrvani which he plans to export to India.
Copies of Tikka Look at me Now can be ordered on freephone 0800 195 3 195 for further information visit www.charangill.info