Alan Michael Sugar more commonly known as Lord Sugar is a British businessman, entrepreneur and media person. With a net worth of £770 million, he was rated 89th in the Sunday Times Rich List of 2011. He is also the founder of Amstrad which is his largest business venture.
Sugar was born on 24th March 1947 in Hackney, London. He went to Northwold Primary School and Brooke House Secondary School. He earned his pocket money by working with a greengrocer. Lord Sugar founded Amstrad in 1968; he chose this name as it was the acronym of his own name’s initials. The company started as a wholesaler and importer/exporter but it began selling consumer electronics. The business expanded and in the 1980s was listed in the stock exchange. The profits doubled each year and at its highest, Amstrad’s stock market value had reached £1.2 billion. The 90s however turned out to be a difficult period when they were delivered business PC’s by Seagate with a compromised quality. This resulted in consumer dissatisfaction and consequently a lost reputation which they could never get back. Finally Amstrad was bought off by Broadcaster BSkyB for only £125 million.
Another business venture by Sugar was the purchase of the football club Tottenham Hotspur in 1991. This journey also turned out to be a rocky one involving few victories and more problems. In 2001, Lord Sugar sold most of his share in the club to leisure group ENIC, 27% of the club for £22 million and the remaining shares for £25 million in 2007 thus bringing a close to almost 16 years of relationship with the football club. He called this time ‘a waste of his life’. After this Sugar entered many other ventures such as ‘Amsair’ (Amsair Executive Aviation) which he founded in 1993, ‘Amsprop’ (an investment firm), ‘Viglen Ltd’ (an IT services provider) which he also chaired till 2009. Some other companies by Lord Sugar include ‘Amscreen’ that specializes in the sales of advertising space on digital screens for hospitals, retailers and leisure places. Sugar is also the chairman of Amscreen which is an IPTV project.
Lord Sugar is also a star in the renowned reality show called ‘The Apprentice’ aired from BBC. The show started in 2005 with Sugar playing the role that Donald Trump plays in the U.S version of the show. The winner of this competition gets a job at his company along with a chance to start his own business in partnership with Sugar and an investment of £250,000 by Sugar himself. In 2009 he made an appearance on the show ‘An Audience without Jeremy Beadle’ and TV advertisements for ‘The Learning and Skills Council’ and the bank NS&I. In 2011 he presented a documentary called ‘Lord Sugar Tackles Football’ which talked about the financial problems faced by the English football.
In 2000, Sugar was knighted for his contributions to the world of business. He has been awarded two honorary Doctorates of Science; by City University in 1988 and Brunel University in 2005. Lord Sugar has been involved in some controversies including gender discrimination, bullying his employees and his prejudicial tweet.