Undercover boss breaks down after driver says he doesn't feel valued

Founder of one of the largest suppliers of Indian food across Europe who secretly worked at his own £200m firm for Undercover Big Boss breaks down in tears as staff tell him they ‘don’t feel valued’

  • Shelim Hussain MBE is Managing Director of Euro Foods, supplier of Indian food
  • He goes undercover in his Welsh factory in ITV’s tonight’s Undercover Big Boss
  • Breaks down in tears when employees tell him they don’t feel valued by company

The founder of one of the largest suppliers of Indian food across Europe, who secretly worked at his own firm, was left in tears after staff told him they ‘didn’t feel valued’ on tonight’s Undercover Big Boss.

Shelim Hussain MBE is Managing Director of Euro Foods and started the company, which has its headquarters in Wales, when he was just 18 after taking £20 worth of fuel and the money to buy six cases of prawns before selling them on for a profit.    

On the ITV programme this evening, the tycoon, whose company reportedly has a yearly turnover of £200million, took a closer look at how his business functioned ahead of plans for a possible expansion. 

Confronted with the realities of the working conditions faced by his staff members who are pushed to reach strict targets, the experience was emotional for Shelim who posed as work experience waiter Gulam Razul.

He was reduced to tears after a delivery driver Akik, in Walsall, who was expected to complete between 10 and 17 deliveries during a 10 hour shift, told him he didn’t feel valued by the company.

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The founder of one of the largest suppliers of Indian food across Europe, who secretly worked at his own firm, was left in tears after staff told him they ‘didn’t feel valued’ on tonight’s Undercover Big Boss. Pictured, Shelim Hussain

Shelim Hussain MBE (pictured on the programme) is Managing Director of Euro Foods and started the company, which has its headquarters in Wales, when he was just 18 after taking £20 worth of fuel and the money to buy six cases of prawns before selling them on for a profit

Shelim, pretending to be a waiter looking to change career, followed several of his employees around under the guise of completing a work experience. 

The managing director wanted to work with his companies’ drivers because they are the ones meeting his business’s clients and delivering the food his company supplies. 

He went to work with full-time driver Akik in Walsall, who took him on his day of deliveries.

Akik said he didn’t mind the job, because he liked being on the road, and joked he would never take a desk job, even if someone offered him more money. 

The father-of-three was unaware he was talking to his employer when he taught Shelim how to check that the vehicle they’d use to deliver their food worked properly, before setting off for the day. 

On the ITV programme this evening, the tycoon (pictured right), whose company reportedly has a yearly turnover of £200million, took a closer look at how his business functioned ahead of plans for a possible expansion

‘Immediately I like this driver, the thorough checks, he’s a good driver,’ Shelim said. 

Akik told Shelim, thinking he was just another employee: ‘I’m happy cause it suits my lifestyle: basically I work here four days, Monday to Thursday, and Friday, Saturday, Sunday, I’m with my daughters.’

Separated from his wife, Akik looked forward to this quality time with his children.

Shelim was confronted with the reality of delivering food to restaurants who didn’t have proper parking spaces, and required Akik to deliver kilos after kilos of food by himself, unloading the truck and leaving it unsupervised for several minutes because he didn’t have a choice. 

He quickly realised it made delivery targets impossible to meet for his drivers. The job was also physically demanding, but Akik joked it kept him fit and saved him from paying for a gym subscription. 

Confronted with the realities of the working conditions faced by his staff members (pictured, delivery driver Akik) who are pushed to reach strict targets, the experience was emotional for Shelim who posed as work experience waiter Gulam Razul

Shelim’s reaction was different. He told the camera: ‘I’m more than feeling tired, this delivery is up the stairs and there are some big bags of onions, that’s a bit difficult.’

He also realised that Akik often had to deal with disgruntled customers, even though he was only the delivery driver.  

‘There are constantly hick ups, that’s how I feel when I work at Euro Food,’ he told Shelim. ‘There’s always something somewhere, it doesn’t go smoothly,’ he added. 

‘Customers do get annoyed, either because their delivery has arrived late or the product they ordered they didn’t get,’ Akik told the camera. 

‘As a driver they actually see us in the frontline, so when they are frustrated at the company, they are gonna take that out on us,’ he added.

The boss (pictured) was reduced to tears after a delivery driver Akik, in Walsall, who was expected to complete between 10 and 17 deliveries during a 10 hour shift, told him he didn’t feel valued by the company

It was a tough awakening for Shelim (pictured), who used to do deliveries in the early 1990s, and thought it was an easy job

‘Sometimes it does get to a point where you think you’ve had enough then you start thinking “well, what else this is out there”,’ he went on. 

It was a tough awakening for Shelim, who used to do deliveries in the early 1990s, and thought it was an easy job. 

‘You’re making wonder if I want to work for a company who doesn’t value their staff,’ he told Akik, who agreed and said that’s how he felt as well.  

‘It makes me proud that I have a good batch of employees but it makes me sad to know they think they’re not valued,’ an emotional Shelim told the camera.  ‘I don’t want anybody to feel they’re not valued, because I value every single employee.’  

‘They don’t feel valued, that makes me very very upset, because this is what I’ve built’, he said through tears. ‘I had nothing, and this company made me who I am, everything I have today, this company gave me. 

At the end of the programme, Shelim (pictured on the show) met Akik face-to-face and revealed his true identity

‘I don’t want people who work in the company feeling not valued,’ he said, before crying and asking the cameraperson to stop filming. 

At the end of the programme, Shelim met Akik face-to-face and revealed his true identity.  

‘The driver is the most important person in the company, he’s the face of the company, you said you didn’t feel valued,’ Shelim said. 

‘That really hurts because every single colleague, from manager all the way down to the shop floor, I value very much,’ he added. 

As well as promoting him, Shelim (pictured) also gave Akik an additional bonus of £10,000 for himself and his daughters

‘I was so impressed with how thoroughly you were doing your job, what I’d like to do is promote you to be the driver’s trainer, by promoting you, I’m going to give you a 10 per cent pay rise,’ he added. 

‘Every time you train somebody, somebody trains with you, you get another 20 per cent,’ Shelim went on.  ‘That’s a very big bonus,’ a visibly touched Akik replied. 

And Shelim also gave Akik an additional bonus of £10,000 for himself and his daughters.  

‘That will be really so much helpful, I don’t know how to thank you, this is the first time I was given a bonus or a gift I would have never imagined in my life,’ Akik said. ‘I don’t know how to express how I feel.’  

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