Imran Merza

Co-founder, Jealous Sweets, on MC Hammer, being a sweet revolutionary and The Pursuit of Happyness

imran merza jealous sweets

What was your first-ever job? Selling double-glazed windows at 15 years old during the summer, my parents wouldn’t allow me to get a paper round so when they went away during the summer holidays I got a job. I loved the freedom of talking to random people and the adventures it entailed.

What’s been your worst job interview? Getting interviewed by eight people at a Japanese investment bank and getting totally beaten.

What was the first music single you bought? The classic Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer.

How do you describe your job to your mates? I’m a co-founder of a confectionery company for grown-ups… and I’m a sweet revolutionary!

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? I love meeting people from various backgrounds, the freedom to come up with ideas and bringing them to fruition; there’s nothing like seeing my product on the shelves of the best department stores and hotel mini bars worldwide.

What’s the least rewarding part? Having to chase people to respond to emails and requests: the constant hassle of it all.

What’s your motto? Life is about attitude so pick a good one and dream big.

What’s your nickname? Candy Man or Imi.

If you were allowed one dream perk what would it be? I wouldn’t mind having a performance coach.

What’s your favourite movie? Why? The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith, because I think the movie depicts the fact that it’s not about where you come from, it’s about where you want to go in life, dreaming big and having belief that gets you ahead.

What’s been the most embarrassing moment in your life? Most of my embarrassing moments seem to revolve around trying to chat up a girl at a bar!

Do you have any phobias? Big hairy spiders - no thank you!

If you could pick a celebrity to join your staff who would it be? Why? Victoria Beckham could join the Jealous crew. She’s a marketing genius who has reinvented herself and forged her way into becoming a global luxury brand.

If you could change one thing in grocery what would it be? I would love for large retailers to be able to help and encourage smaller emerging brands to grow. Ideally this would also mean offering better payment terms!

What luxury would you have on your desert island? A masseuse to keep up the ultimate relaxation… and some Jealous Sweets to snack on!.

What animal best reflects your personality? I’d like to think I’m like a wolf…