Mo Chaudry has many things to thank for his success – inner steel, business nous, unflinching family support. But most of all he can thank the strength of his father Iqbal.
To provide lifelong security for his family, Iqbal signed his allegiance to the Pakistan army. Inside, however, he dreamed of forging his own path. So when a monsoon struck, and his commanding officer’s jeep became stuck, Iqbal, a renowned strongman, seized his chance.
“If you can pull me out” stated the officer, “name your price and i will reward you with whatever you want.” Having performed the impossible, Iqbal stunned his superior. “i want out the army” he told him “i want to go to England and make a fortune.”
In 1969, Mo and the rest of his family followed, arriving at a snowy Heathrow “i saw these white flashes coming from the sky. I didn’t know what they were. All i remember is a few days before being in beautiful sunshine playing with all my friends and all of sudden i’m in this alien world.”
Settling in Luton, at first Mo found it tough. As a newcomer, others’ attitude to him was harsh. Eventually, though, he found the key – “if you can communicate, you can do anything”. School days also taught himself a lifelong ethos – never tolerate bullies.
When Mo’s family moved to Telford, Mo combines studying sports science at nearby Madeley College with a new role working nightclub doors. He turned his back on bouncing to sell insurance door to door, taking a bedsit at a tenner a week, having turned down a job managing a London leisure centre.
“It was risk taking. I was prepared to take the chance on myself. Without risk there’s no success. Because i was so motivated, i wasn’t prepared to give up.”
After joining a firm of brokers, Mo went on his own and within five years, aged 30, was a millionaire, living in his dream home. “I had this utopia moment. I tripped over on a goldmine and found a way to make my fortune.” Mo still lives in that house, with wide Ann, the pair have three daughters.
Soon after, Mo opened Waterworld, the biggest and most successful water park in the UK. He would also fashion M Club, a duo of fitness clubs that soon became a byword for quality and detail, run as a social enterprise. In 2018, he added worldwide fitness giant The Pulse Group to an already considerable and impressive business portfolio.
Mo himself is no stranger to the sporting word. A former Student Olympics medal-winning weightlifter, he was also a talented cricketer, representing Shropshire, and Warwickshire U-19’s, as well as partaking in martial arts and boxing.
Mo prides himself on investing in those communities which surround him. Indeed, and never forgetting his own father’s life-changing skills of strength, Mo stepped out of the business bubble to manage “The Beast” Eddie Hall from humble truck mechanic to ultimate success, crowned World’s Strongest Man 2017. It was that same belief in allowing talent to blossom, that saw him back Stoke-on-Trent actress Rachel Shenton’s short film The Silent Child, which went on to win the biggest prize of all – an Oscar. Mo is also helpinh bronze medal Paralympian rowing star Ian Marsden in his pursuit of a second medal at the Tokyo Games in 2020.
Mo has appeared on C4’s Secret Millionaire, spending two weeks in a rundown predominantly Asian area of Leeds. The programme’s effect on him was profound. “I lived the life i only knew as a kid but from an adult perspective. It made me realise why i made the mark that i did in my life and why some don’t make the mark, and how they could.”
Mo’s charity work includes a desert bike ride in the Middle East to raise funds for the National Deaf Children’s Society, funding a school in Pakistan, and rowing from London to Paris to raise money for children’s hospice, Donna Louise. He also created the M Club foundation, set up to help and support sporting and wellness causes and hard to reach deprived groups.
“Hand on heart, i say every single person is capable of extraordinary deeds. If you’ve got the right attitude, anything is possible in life – if i can do it, anyone can do it.”
Mo is currently penning his autobiography. He is a man constantly writing new chapters of an extraordinary story.
Mo Chaudry, Owner of WaterWorld
Mo Chaudry, Entrepreneur and Eddie Hall, World’s Strongest Man
Mo Chaudry at his graduation in 2008