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Hitachi Capital's James Malliff answers Barker's Dozen

Date: 07 August 2009

BusinessCar deputy editor Paul Barker puts 13 testing questions to Hitachi's rental sales and operations manager

1. What was your first job?

I used to pump petrol after school in Australia, does that count? Otherwise, I had a traineeship with the Tasmanian Forestry Commission when I left school. My first job here was with Thrifty Car Rental.

2. What was your first company car?

I think it was a Renault Clio. Actually, that sounds really uncool, so scratch that. A Golf GTI was my first company car.

3. What did you listen to on your last car journey?

Seventies power ballads of course. Is there anything else?

4. What one thing do you wish you could do better?

Putt - you wouldn't believe the problems I have on the green.

5. What's your biggest achievement?

Getting my wife to agree to marry me!

6. Who is your role model?

My older brother probably was the biggest influence on my life. Other than that I admire sportsmen who are truly good sports. I can't stand a bad attitude on the sports field.

7. What's the stupidest thing you've done?

Do you mean today or ever? I have no idea where to start.

8. What was the most hotly debated topic at your last meeting?

The growing concern among fleet operators about managing daily rental costs and the ways in which we can help them get the most out of their rental requirements.

9. What's in your garage?

Washing machine, tumble drier and a multi-gym that never gets used.

10. What's the worst thing about your job?

The economy at the moment has certainly made things more difficult. Times are really tough for everyone but we have a good team and the business model we subscribe to is robust so our customers can rely on us.

11. What one law would you make or change?

I would make it illegal to use sub-standard suppliers and to be sub-standard in your approach to business. I hate it when suppliers don't get to grips with the issues their customers face. Our customers' thoughts, views and intentions are at the heart of every decision we make here at Hitachi Capital.

12. What keeps you awake at night?

Blimey, just about everything plays on my mind. I am a terrible sleeper.

13. Who is your ideal celebrity date?

Elizabeth Hurley - the voice, the smile, the whole package really.



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