Brain Food: How He Made His Pile - Mohamed Al Fayed - Flamboyant Retailer

Who is he? The Egyptian-born owner of Harrods and chairman of Fulham FC, worth £470 million.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

How did he make his millions? The young Mohamed Fayed (he added the 'Al' later) peddled Coca-Cola and sewing machines on the streets of Alexandria before Saudi importer Adnan Khashoggi gave him a job. Fayed went on to launch his own shipping business in Egypt before becoming an adviser to the Sultan of Brunei in 1966. A wealthy man, he moved to London, joining the board of Lonhro for nine months before buying the Paris Ritz in 1979.

In 1985, he beat off Tiny Rowland in an infamously ugly public feud to buy Harrods for £615 million.

The secret of his success? Fierce ambition drives him to succeed at any cost, but his belief in a conspiracy against him by the British establishment has done him no business favours.

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