Now I don't normally read biographies or autobiographies for that matter, but given my interest in business and investing I did decide to read this one. In addition as I have in the past posted about the fact that i think running and owning your own business is probably the best and most satisfying way to get rich, this book is interesting to see how he did it. Thus, I would highly recommend it - even if it might seem like a dull subject - the business career of a frozen food / supermarket retailer.
The reason it appealed to me was the fact that I have known this business for a long time and even met and saw Malcolm Walker present during my time in the City. Thus, much of the time period and ground that he covers and even some of the characters he mentions are familiar to me. Now while that might not be the case for all, don't let that put you off. The other reason I decided to read this was because I had also seen the documentary series which was on TV last year and he certainly came across as quite a character in that. The book charts his rise from humble school leaver working at Woolworth's to the head of his supermarket empire with lots of trials and tribulations along the way, some of which I had forgotten about. It is also interesting to get an insight into the mind of an entrepreneur as he details all the various side projects he has tried out along the way with varying degrees of success and is quite honest about his own shortcomings.
Any way I know it seems like a strange one to suggest as holiday reading but it does kind of pull you along into the story and is well written and even quite funny. For example one great quote toward the end of the book when he was revitalising the business made me laugh out loud or LOL as I believe the young folk say these days was as follows:
"Our main concern was building staff morale. This we saw as a key weapon in building the business. We'd increased wages ahead of most other retailers and now paid a better hourly rate than even Sainsbury's, John Lewis or M & S. Even so our front line staff only got £6.75 an hour but in a Sunday Times survey of best Companies to work for Iceland came out number one in employee satisfaction with their rate of pay. Number two was Goldman Sachs! The point here is that it's not just the actual rate of pay that matters, but how people feel about the company they work for."
So if that has whetted your appetite and you want to put it in your basket or add it to your wish list you can click the picture of the book above which will take you to Amazon - although other physical and on line book shops are available! In addition all his and Iceland's proceeds go to charity.