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Meet Councillor Ankur Shiv Bhandari

Councillor Ankur Shiv Bhandari

I’m Ankur Shiv Bhandari, Conservative Councillor for Binfield and Warfield.

This is my first time in politics so it’s still quite new. I have a corporate background and have worked for Pepsi, ICI, Procter & Gamble and Accenture, and launched my own business in 2009.

Where would you like to be right now?

Just in Bracknell. I’ve lived here since 2005 and I’m very happy and settled here. I’m Indian in origin and we moved to the UK in 2001. My son was 2 months old when we moved to Bracknell and my daughter was born here. It’s full of happy memories.

Where’s your favourite place in Bracknell Forest?

Forest Park. We used to go to Savernake Park and Lake when the children were young, feeding the birds and playing in the park. It’s another place with lots of good memories.

I still go there if I need peace. I can just park up and am able to find some solace and thinking time, it’s like going to my happy place.

Tell us something not many people know about you

I’m in the Guinness Book of World Records. When I worked at Procter & Gamble there was a theme of ‘breaking records together’ and they staged 3 successful world record attempts:

  • the most people doing a Haka
  • the most people popping a balloon
  • the most people having a pillow fight

Share something you’re proud of

I’m the 1st Bracknell Forest councillor of Indian origin. It means a lot to me because it means a lot to the minorities living in the borough.

Who or what inspires you?

I’m inspired by Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney and Colonel Sanders.

They all believed in themselves and their ideas and were prepared to keep going through difficulties and hardship, including homelessness.

Colonel Sanders didn’t get his big break until he was 75 but he always believed in himself and in his recipe. If you believe in what you’re doing you can keep calm and focussed under pressure.

If you had a warning label what would it say?

“Will make up his own mind.” I like to consider everyone’s viewpoint but I make up my own mind based on facts and evidence.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

I started my career as a door to door salesman in Delhi when I was 15. I loved selling – matching someone’s need to what you are offering. I wanted to have an impact internationally in my chosen career of sales and marketing.

Thankfully, I’ve enjoyed a successful career professionally and have managed to achieve those things having worked in more than 50 countries with some big brand names.

I now use my experience to talk and blog about motivation and sales and marketing concepts – it’s very satisfying to help others.

If you could invite anyone, living or dead, for lunch who would it be?

Walt Disney. I’d like to know more about being successful despite the challenges he had.

I’d also like some tips about being creative, since I have to be creative at work too. I’ve worked with the Walt Disney corporation before. It’s mesmerising – a huge global company created out of one small idea.

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week?

Watching the cricket world cup with my family.

We all like cricket and it was great to go to some of the venues with them: Cardiff, The Oval, The Hampshire Bowl, Manchester and Nottingham. We even had dinner sitting next to the Indian cricket team.