ShahidAzeem is an award winning British-Pakistani entrepreneur andphilanthropist, and one of Surrey’s best-known business leaders. In addition to a string of successful businesses, he has been named one of the Top 100 most influential Muslims in the UK by Royal Bank of Scotland. He istheManaging Director of Arcom ITChairman of Aldershot FCFounder of Woking Asian Business Forum and an advisor to the British Pakistan Foundation.


How did your early years help shape your future business and entrepreneurial flair? I think going to a tough state school, where most kids end up after being expelled from other schools, taught me a tough lesson in being street wise, looking after myself and seeking and creating opportunities.

Why is philanthropy so important to you personally?

I would like to give back to society because I know what it feels like to struggle. My life’s journey has been marked by challenges. These hardships have served as important life lessons. I believe giving time to good causes is just as vital to providing financial support.

What has been your most successful business venture to date, and how did you go about achieving this?

I suppose in value it has to be A&P Computers which I built from a £5000 loan from a friend in 1989 and to have a turnover of £120M in 2006 and selling it to a French group was my most successful business. I believe in working hard, listening to my customers and taking calculated risks. I would say acquiring Aldershot FC from Administrator and clearing the debts within 9 months was my proudest moment, and I would like to go on record to say the great support I received from the BPF Chairman Asif Rangoonwala that I will never forget.

Sustaining an injury brought an unfortunate end to your sporting career, is this something you regret?

Not all (apart from the fact that it hurt like something I can’t explain), but it took me to a different journey, for which I am really grateful, so no regrets, you just move on and take it as part of life.

If you could give one piece of advice to young entrepreneurs, what would it be? 

Go with your guts instinct!

Having witnessed much success in the world of IT, would you urge more young entrepreneurs to follow your footsteps? 

I would encourage any budding entrepreneurs to go with their passion in their own field, sadly IT plays an important role in our everyday life and the world we live in.

Where do you see the future of business heading in the world?

The world we live in is very challenging and it is now a bigger playing field due to globalisation, but I believe some of the biggest companies will be formed out of bedrooms and the existing corporate world will need to adapt.

What is your philosophy on how to achieve success?

Work hard, be ethical, treat people as you want to be treated yourself, listen and learn, take advice and have a great team that supports your vision and acknowledge people who have helped you and never forget people who have helped you along the way.