Senior and Sixth Form students were given an insight into the world of fashion and finance when they were visited by Old Waconian, Adam Kamani, Class of 2007.
The fashion and property entrepreneur spoke during a lunchtime talk about his career to date and memories of life at CHS. He offered the students his top tips for success and how to prepare themselves for getting ahead in the world of business.
Adam started his career working for family business Boohoo.com, before setting up clothing brand, PrettyLittleThing with his brother in 2012. His most recent venture has seen him become CEO of the Manchester-based, Kamani Property Group.
Reunited with his former Form Tutor, Mr Upton, Adam was interviewed before an audience of students, eager to hear his advice.
Adam told them; “Whatever you do, don’t take no for an answer. Don’t give up, use setbacks as motivation; ask questions and understand why you failed, then use what you learn to take things forwards. Knock down doors and always find a way.”
He said: “It’s important to bring your own personality to everything you do. At School, the social side is just as important as your studies… be decent and network as much as possible. It can open up many opportunities. Your friendships and even how you speak with your teachers, helps. For example, if I’d not kept in touch with Mr Upton I wouldn’t be sitting here chatting with you all today.”
Adam continued: “Always ask questions… even if you think ‘ooh it’ll be stupid’, you’ll only feel that way for 5 minutes, then you’ll know the answer. At school I used to nod along saying I understood everything but I didn’t always. Now I ask lots of questions.”
As a busy businessman, whose family has similarly hectic schedules, Adam said his work has often included the glamour of working alongside celebrities but most of all he enjoys a positive business rivalry with his brother and truly values any time spent with his siblings and parents.
The students also heard about Adam’s upbringing and love for Manchester City, his experience of building big business in New York and how the city inspired him, as well as his plans for the future.
“You’re never finished,” told Adam. “Of course the ultimate goal is always world domination; so to achieve the most success, there’s always something more you can do.”
Adam, whose entrepreneurial inspiration is Steve Jobs (because "he gave people something they didn’t know they needed or wanted"), said that embracing change and really taking advantage of Social Media is key; “The best businesses which grow and survive are those which know how to adapt. They reassess and move with the times.”
Following a Q&A with the students, Adam closed with a few final words of advice. “Think of two or three things you’re passionate about and find your passion. Just get out there and do it.”