John Chuhan of Alphabet answers Barker's Dozen
23 April 2015
1 What was your first job?
Through my teenage years and in summer holidays I worked with my dad - he was an accountant but bought, renovated and sold properties too. My jobs ranged from sorting out bank statements to clearing rubbish from properties. My first 'proper' job was as an accountant
2 What was your first company car?
A BMW 323 in Fern Green from Alphabet. I remember being incredibly excited at the time when I got it.
3 What did you listen to on your last car journey?
I tend to tune into the news on the way to work, but prefer something more upbeat on the way home; nowadays, I am listening to Kiss FM. I also plug in my iPod occasionally.
4 What one thing do you wish you could do better?
Draw - I am terrible! I like to visualise any ideas I have and draw graphs to help aid a point. I also like to help my children with their drawings, but I am not artistic at all!
5 What's your biggest achievement?
Working as a finance director for Alphabet and BMW Financial Services in Belgium was probably one of the biggest achievements for me, both personally and professionally.
6 Who are your role models?
My ultimate role model would have to be my dad - he is really hard-working and extremely clever. I am also inspired by people who overcome difficult challenges and who demonstrate resilience.
7 What's the stupidest thing you've done?
When I was 24 years old I sold my house in Newcastle, but instead of saving the money I made, I spent it on a Toyota MR2, which I sold a couple of years' later for half the price. However, I really enjoyed having that car at that time of my lif
8 What was the most hotly debated topic at your last meeting?
Meetings can sometimes become quite heated. Everyone at Alphabet has a strong view and is passionate about their area of the business. Strategy meetings in particular are interesting.
9 What's in your garage?
Junk - in fact, I still have boxes I haven't unpacked from my time in Belgium.
10 What's the worst thing about your job?
Nothing as I really enjoy my job. At a push, perhaps I would reduce the amount of meetings I attend a day as I seem to run out of hours - but that really is a minor aspect.
11 What one law would you make or change?
I would change the Sunday trading laws back so that shops are closed all day again. In Belgium everything is closed, which means you spend more time with your friends and family.
12 What keeps you awake at night?
My children (even though they told me not to say this) are both bad sleepers. Also, if I'm excited about a project at work or have a good idea, I struggle to switch off
13 Who is your ideal celebrity date?
I love food and I love football (I am a Middlesbrough supporter), so I would say Delia Smith as I could talk food and football with her. I would also like to meet Susie Wolff as I am a huge Formula One fan and I hope she is about to get the opportunity to drive in every race.
Job title Chief risk officer
Home town Winchester
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