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Lib Dem London Mayor hopeful: people assume if it doesn't affect them then all is okay

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Dinesh Dhamija is a fascinating individual, who has had extremely successful career in business. Now he is setting his eyes on giving back to society, by turning his interests to frontline politics.

He has gone from running a kiosk outside Earl's Court Tube station to being a potential nomination for the next London Mayoral Election.

I was lucky to be given the chance to interview Dinesh about his career, plans for the future and any advice he would like to give to entrepreneurs. 

Business was not Dinesh's first calling in life, as he previously worked for IBM. After that, he set up his highly successful multi-million travel business, ebookers which was his first step into the business world.

"I looked at the tax structure in 1979, when old Labour was in power. The lowest tax band was 40% and national insurance amounted to 10%, so tax was at 50%.

"Therefore, I thought, if I could start my own business and earn the same amount of money I was on at IBM, I could expense a lot of it and increase my standard of living." 

By his own admission, things were not easy for ebookers: "We had ups and downs. We nearly went bankrupt three times, but the important thing is that we didn't. We had a bit of luck, which all businesses need. Only one in five businesses succeed and we were one of those."

Dinesh eventually sold ebookers in 2005 after 25 years of hard work and perseverance. By 2004, the company employed 2000 staff and the business was registered in 12 countries, having become a multi million pound business. His attention has now turned to charity work and helping others.

Dinesh hopes to become the next Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London: "In 2014 I went into politics through the back-end and now I am trying to move into frontline politics.

"In doing so I am trying to get the Liberal Democratic nomination for Mayor of London."

He is passionate about social injustice and believes that is something which needs to be tackled particularly in London: "There are 500,000 people on affordable housing waiting lists, 28,000 people who are injured or die on  the roads, 10,000 die of air pollution and moped crime has gone up 500%."

"I never thought of these issues until I looked at all the figures, people assume if it doesn't affect them then all is okay." 

Dinesh believes that hard work is key to both business and politics: "Most students that want to go into business, or want to improve their standard of living must work for someone for a couple of years, before starting their own business."

"In politics you have got to also start from the bottom and work your way up. You cannot just say you are a leader and that's it.

"Yes, some people get lucky. Yes, some people get breaks but you have got to work."

Throughout his life, Dinesh has experienced working in a variety of sectors, different jobs and experience with various degrees of success. But one of the main messages I have taken from his interview is hard work is key.

If you want to find out more about Dinesh and his work, visit his website here.  

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