Best known for his stint on Dragon’s Den (2007-12), James Caan CBE is a successful entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist, and author.
He is the founder of headhunting company Alexander Mann, management advisory company Hamilton Bradshaw, and investment company Recruitment Entrepreneur. In 2009, James worked with the UK Government to create the iAwards to support innovation in the UK. Three years later, he was appointed the Chairman of the UK Government start-up loans scheme.
James now utilises his years of experience by being an in-demand keynote speaker, event host, and conference panellist. He has worked for companies including Google and Samsung, and appeared at events such as The Business Show, and the MADE Festival. A veteran of entrepreneurship, James inspires his audiences with anecdotes and motivational tips.
James was appointed a CBE in 2015 for his services to entrepreneurship and charity.
Born in Pakistan, James Caan emigrated to the UK when he was two years old. Initially expected to join the family business, James was focussed on his own entrepreneurial ambitions. With no University experience, James qualified at Harvard Business School’s advanced management programme. After working for numerous recruitment companies, James started his own in 1985.
James’ first foray into the world of entrepreneurship was in 1985, where he founded Alexander Mann, an executive headhunting firm where he stayed at the top until 2002, selling it when it had a £130 million turnover from operations in 150 countries. During his time at Alexander Mann, he also co-founded Humana International, another executive recruitment company.
In 2004, he founded Hamilton Bradshaw Group, a leading private equity investor in recruitment. James remains the CEO, and in that time has seen Hamilton become the UK’s number one choice of investor in the human capital sector, with a turnover of over £150 million.
10 years later, James founded Recruitment Entrepreneur, a global private equity investor partnering with recruiters, providing them with the capital and resources to grow. It currently operates from 18 countries with over 45 partners.
James has a long history of using his position to help with a wide range of charitable projects. Following a visit to his birth town of Lahore in Pakistan in 2004, he launched The James Caan Foundation. It funds a range of projects including the Build a Village Project, and the Abdul Rashid Khan School, which educates over 400 children a year.
Existing charities he supports include The British Asian Trust, The Catalyst Club, Comic Relief, Give A Man A Fish, the Kashmir Earthquake Fund, Mosaic, NSPCC, Pakistan Recovery Fund, The Prince’s Trust,
Best known for appearing on Dragon’s Den, James has also been in a range of other television programmes, as business expert or guest, including Jeremy Vine (2020), CNBC’s The Pledge (2016), The Wright Stuff (2008-12), Loose Women (2009-11), Question Time (2008-11), The One Show (2010), Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (2009), The Apprentice: You’re Fired! (2009), and Breakfast (2008). He is also a frequent columnist for The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, and The Evening Standard.
James has published three bestselling business books. The first Get The Job You Really Want came out in 2012. This was followed by Get The Life You Really Want, also in 2012, and Start Your Business in 7 Days: Turn Your Idea Into a Life-Changing Success in 2013. He also published his biography, The Real Deal in 2008.
– Scaling and Developing a Business
– Business Strategy
– Investment and Funding
– Leadership and Management
– Recruitment and Talent Management
– Networking and Relationship Building
– Personal Development
– Overcoming Challenges
– The Future of Business
– AI and Business/Recruitment
– BT Enterprise of the Year 2001
– PWC Entrepreneur of the Year
– Entrepreneur of the Year at the Asian Jewel Awards
– Businessman of the Year 2015 from the British Muslim Awards
– Chairman of the Year at the International Business Awards 2013
– One of the 100 Most Influential British Entrepreneurs by Richtopia
Clients include, Disney Google, HP, McDonalds, Microsoft, Salesforce, Samsung, Santander, the UK Government, and Virgin. He has spoken at The Business Show, MADE Festival, LEAP Conference, Pendulum Summit, and at Global Enterprise Week, and sat down in early 2023 with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak about the impact of AI on jobs). James is available for keynote speaking, as a conference moderator, panellist, event host, judge, or mentor.
Excellent rapport built with crowd and a good mix of knowledge and humour.
Business to Business Exhibitions Ltd
The audience enjoyed the theme and stories. James covered all the requests from the brief well. Very positive and favourable feedback.
Profile Project Management
James was world class – exactly what I was looking for.
Dan Bradbury Ltd
He handled the ‘sensitive’ issues from our side and handled the audience very well, very professional.
James’ willingness and passion to address the issues he supports made him an ideal speaker for the Pendulum Summit. He exceeded our expectations on the day, giving our audience the benefit of his invaluable insight and proactive advice.
Frankie Sheahan, Founder/Event Director, Pendulum Summit 2018
James was excellent, amusing and interesting in his views and I felt he dealt with the questions from the audience with charm and intelligent insight.
David Henry, VP Marketing UK and Europe, Monster