Entrepreneur and author Vikas Shah is to donate an archive of more than £1 million worth of world-leader, entrepreneur, celebrity, and sportspeople interviews to the University of Salford.
Vikas, 42, was born in Manchester and has his group of businesses based there. He is not a journalist, but since 2007 he has conducted over 520 interviews with the individuals shaping the century ranging from music icon Nile Rodgers to primatologist Dame Jane Morris Goodall, and philanthropist Melinda Gates. His interviews are published online, and in his book, “Thought Economics.”
“Everything meaningful to our lives is the result of people with ideas, people who took a stand or followed the spark of inspiration to build a business or make a change. I’ve always been fascinated by brilliant people, how they think, and how they drive towards achievement,” he said of the likes of interviewees Will.I.Am, Sheryl Sandberg, Maya Angelou, Matthew McConaughey, Usain Bolt, Ai WeiWei, Bear Grylls, Sir Richard Branson and Buzz Aldrin.
“I think it’s because I’m not a journalist so many of them have picked up the phone to me, or called me back when I’ve put a request in; it’s been one of the greatest privileges of my life to get time with these individuals, and nothing makes me happier than sharing these conversations.
“For years, I have been thinking about the archive, and what to do with it. While I have published many interviews online and, in my book, there’s a great deal more material in my archive. I know the impact this archive could have on students in disciplines ranging from business to journalism.”
The archive is estimated to be worth over £1.1 million in professional hours to reproduce. The interviews he has conducted span the past 12 years.
“I’ll be creating the Vikas Shah Archive at the University of Salford to allow students and faculty to use these interviews as a teaching resource, and will be offering my time to bring the interviews to life through teaching,” added Vikas.
Jo Purves, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Academic Development at the University of Salford, said: “We are absolutely delighted with Vikas’ generous gift. At the University of Salford, our single strategic priority is to work in partnership with industry and this is a fantastic example of how such partnerships benefit our staff and students. Vikas’s contribution to the University of Salford, Greater Manchester and further afield in promoting thought leadership has been significant in recent years and this will give us a fantastic and growing resource to record that. Not only will the Vikas Shah Archive provide a wealth of primary material for researchers, both in business and in journalism, but it will also shed light on qualities associated with the entrepreneurial mindset that we try to develop in all our students, regardless of discipline.”
Vikas added: “Amongst my broader interview learnings are such things as it seems 99.9% of great ideas from great people never see the light of day, and around 25% of successful people really do straddle the genius/madness borderline.
“And topically, forgiveness and perspective interfere with one another, and if we were better communicators and listeners conflict would be a rare thing.”