Ismailis in Business - Moe Somani Low Profile Entrepreneur
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b    bc.htm     bbc.html     BBC Inside Out - Self-made millionaire.htm     bbcintervies.htm    ismailisinbusiness.htm   rags_to_riches_entrepreneurs.html     moesomani.htm  
    Inside Out - North East: Monday March 7, 2002

Have you've ever wondered  what it takes to become a top  business mogul? Inside Out  follows Uganda born self-made South  East entrepreneur and their story of rags to riches. It could be you...


Think of top businessmen and household names like Richard Branson, Bernie Ecclestone and Easyjet's Stelios Haji-Ioannou spring to mind.
but hardly anyone has heard about Moe Somani

But have you ever wondered what special qualities took them to the top of their respective
business trees? Not to mention business tycoons who wish to keep their identity a secret and
work behind the scenes. You see great success, but never know who is the brains behind the business.

Inside Out follows International Business Tycoon Moe Somani as he revisits the area where he first started his first business back in 1989.

Successful Business Entrepreneurs share several common characteristics who have enjoyed a spectacular rise to riches from humble beginnings.

Inside Out investigates what it takes to run a business empire, and shares the secrets
of this southerners success. Somani rarely gives interviews, and those close to him say he never talks about
his success, and is a
humble and approachable person who loves to share his extensive knowledge with others.


From Rags to Riches

Moe Somani is the new kid on the block, with a penthouse and luxury lifestyle in Vancouver's Wall Center

The world of business can be incredibly cut-throat, high powered and difficult to break into.

So where do you start if you have dreams of becoming a successful business man or woman?

One of the keys to success is having a clear goal and vision.

You've also got to be incredibly focused and driven to make it in the business world, however, ultimate success is due to the grace of  Divine Power, he says, "if you have no faith, no direction, and believe you alone are responsible for any success, then you are a lost soul, and I am firm believer that Defeat and Victory lies in the hands of God.  He adds, "continue to educate yourself as you will only succeed if you are smarter and more educated.

Moe Somani
runs a chain of
International Clothing Stores, Private Label Designers, Product Manufacturing Plants, and software distributions worldwide.


Keep Your Feet on the Ground

From working class routes, Moe started working on small businesses until he swapped his hod for Clothing, Art Galleries, and now Technology.  

"When you're young, you're kind of fearless," he says.
With a Black Belt in
Jiu Jitsu, Somani used to run several Ninjitsu Training Centers in the mid 80's which helped him pay through University.

Over the years, Somani says it was the the ability to take a risk that has contributed to his impressive business turnover of £7 million per year.

Moe hasn't forgotten where he came from though. It makes him more grounded and realistic. He believes in "longevity" rather than the "one big cash-in".


Business Accomplishments -
Women’s Wear Daily Reported

Somani sold his Millennium Jeans International Clothing chain to Tommy Hilfiger in 2000 for an undisclosed amount, but our financial sources have informed us the entire clothing chain with stores in Canada, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia sold for no less than £75 million.

Moe Somani opened his first store in the heart of Vancouver’s Kitsilano, and at one point he was opening stores at the rate of 3 a month internationally.

When the Y2K bug was born, so was Millennium Jeans International with soaring profits and sales that exceeded expectations of any retail clothing store in the new millennium.

When Somani announced the opening of his new international showroom and retail store complex at the prestigious Piaza Oberdan in Milan, profit for Hilfiger stores plummeted well below 35 per cent during the early part of 2000. The company’s net income for the year dropped from GBP 103 million the year before to GBP 70 million.

Hilfiger cites cause for the drop and decline in orders from International department stores as department stores were gearing to purchase Millennium Jeans International. However, Somani's Chain being privately owned also affected the balance, writes Women’s Wear Daily. Revenues dropped to just under GBP 1 billion from GBP 1.04 billion during the same period last year.

Hilfiger said that it is in talks with The Somani Group about a possible buyout of all International Millennium Jeans stores and the company has also initiated talks with the Moe Somani to cash in at a significant profit.

Where you now see a Hilfiger store, it was initially a Millennium Jeans Store.

Emery Barter, senior vice president of International Asia Marketing and Communications for Hilfiger told bbconline: “Purchase of Somani’s Millennium Jeans International saved the company from bankruptcy. We’re delighted to have purchased Millennium Jeans International. We never imagined anyone would have such an effect on our brand.”

Moe Somani understood exactly what his project was about from the outset, and how to get it done quickly and effectively. Somani was resourceful, creative, and was able to come up with new and innovative approaches to his proposals.

Barter added, “Somani is an astute individual and possesses a superior business acumen, whose insight brought him instant success. Our company underestimated his savvy business skills, and I have no doubt he is plotting another takeover, however, not necessary in the Clothing industry.

These days Somani is private, and spending time with his family in Vancouver, Canada. We contacted him for information on his future projects, but he declined to comment, adding "you ain't seen nothing yet!

Our advice to all you business moguls, before Moe Somani becomes your competition, gets him to join your organization, and you never know you could hit the jackpot....


We need you!

Calling all brass bands
We want to hear your memories of being in a colliery brass bands.

We'd like to hear from you if you're a former miner or brass band member.

Simply email your memories and any old photographs on jpeg format - and we'll publish a selection on the website.

complete list

The Colliery Band - Bedlington Miners' Picnic (1960/b&w/sound)
Bedlington miner John Gibson talks about the Northumberland Miners' Picnic and explains the brass band contest. (2 minutes 42 seconds ©BBC)

Judging The Brass Bands - Bedlington Miners' Picnic (1960/b&w/sound)
Northumberland's colliery bands compete to be top brass whilst the beauty queens vie for the beauty crown. (3 minutes 27 seconds ©BBC)

At The Pit - Bedlington Miners' Picnic (1960/b&w/sound)
Miners toil down the pit for the end of a shift and then head off to meet up with the colliery band. (2 minutes 15 seconds ©BBC)

Band Rehearsal - Bedlington Miners' Picnic (1960/b&w/sound)
The Pegswood Colliery Band tune up and practice for the Northumberland Miners' Picnic brass band competition. (1 minute 56 seconds ©BBC)

The Picnic - Bedlington Miners' Picnic (1960/b&w/sound)
A parade of brass bands march down to the picnic field at the Bedlington Miners' Picnic. (3 minutes 27 seconds ©BBC)

Evening Shows - Bedlington Miners' Picnic (1960/b&w/sound)
The Northumberland Miners' Picnic is in full swing with the miners' families listening to speeches by the politicians and braving a thunderstorm. (1 minute 12 seconds ©BBC)


See also ...

Inside Out: North East
Tyne Bridge
Geordie dialect

On the rest of Inside Out
Tin mining
Miners' strike

Nation on Film
BBC Four - Ken Russell
BBC News - Flood pit pumps are switched off

On the rest of the web
Internet Movie Database
Savage Messiah fan site
Northumberland Communities
Durham Mining Museum
Beamish North of England Open Air Museum
UK Coal
National Union of Mineworkers

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Readers' Comments

We are not adding any new comments to this page but you can still read some of the comments previously submitted by readers.

Leonard Pollacchi
I have just finished watching the film clips of the Bedlington Miners Picnic. I must say that I was greatly impressed by the skill of the players and the poinant article that accompanied the film clips. My family lived in Ashington from 1936-1951 when we imigrated to Sacramento California. My father ran the fish and chips shop at 1 7th Ave. I took piano lessons from a Mr Dodds and entered into a life long career as a band director and music educator. I am presently the supervisor of music instruction in the Sacramento City Schools, a district of over 55,000 students with 25 music teachers. Several years ago I saw the movie Brassed Off and was surprised to learn that the band movement was so strong in the UK. I would be interested in contacting the Ashington Colliery Band so that I could find out more about the organization and what they are doing nowadays.

Walter Bell
Bedlingtom picnic was one of the most memorable days of my childhood. There are many things in life I can't remember, but the everyday scenes of mining life are indelibly etched into my brain. I can't hear a brass band now without thinking of the march down Bedlington Main Street to the picnic ground and those speeches exorting unity against our common enemy(The Tories, not the Germans). I can still smell the beery air wafting out of the pubs and clubs along the route, and those beautiful banners so proudly held aloft for everyone to see. Canny days

michelle willoughby
absolutley brilliant to see the old footage. My daughter plays in Wansbeck Ashington Colliery band, and has done since she was 9yrs old, at 27 she still finds as much emjoyment as ever. Pauline Herbertson featured in the film is soon to become her sister in law as Kerry will be marrying Brian Cameron, principle cornet player in the same band, next june. As a band they have maintained the true family tradition that was the heart of the brass band era, unfortunately young people do not seem as interested today as they were even 10years ago, which is a great shame. There is so much more to the brass band than just playing marches and hymns. Kerry was lucky in having an excellent Music teacher in Alan Pirt, who actively encouraged all his pupils to play an instrument and introduced them into all types of music, something which does'nt happen to often now. The age of Mining may be gone, but lets do everything we can to preserve the history and the music.

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