Mike Shah is a quiet, unassuming man, whose calm exterior and polite manner, don’t initially seem to fit the current popular image of the successful businessman. The business people we see on our televisions screens are often loud and aggressive. Mike’s style is somewhat different.
Mike Shah has been involved with the rag trade, one way or another, for most of his life, beginning 30 years ago when he started selling women’s clothing on Petticoat Lane Market. He eventually moved into the wholesale side of the business with his three brothers, and together they built a highly successful family business. Despite that success, Mike has recently decided to take a step back and spend more time at home with his wife Milla, and to consider other business options.
His interest in personal number plates started about 20 years ago, when he was asked by his brother to bid for a particular registration at a number plate auction. He was successful and, after witnessing the level of ‘auction fever’ on the day, the seeds of Mike’s interest in number plates were sown. Incidentally, his brother still has the registration and the interest has since spread throughout the family, many of whom now have their own personal number plates.
Mike’s first purchase was 1 VMM, which he found in a Regtransfers advert in the Exchange & Mart magazine. The letters stand for Vishal (his eldest son), Milla (his wife) and Mike, and was originally put on his red Mercedes 200 SL convertible. It now resides on his pride and joy, a top of the range Mercedes SL 55 with every conceivable extra, including a performance pack, giving it a racing standard 550bhp and top speed of 200mph.
His next purchase, M11 LLY, was found in the Sunday Times. The number was for his wife Milla, who is better known as Milly to family and friends. He originally wanted to buy M11 LLY, but at the time the price was too high. When M11 LLY came along at a “more sensible price” he snapped it up. It is now proudly displayed on Milly’s beloved Mercedes C180, which she regularly uses to go shopping with her sister.
More recently Mike completed his collection when he purchased two more superb number plates from Registration Transfers, 11 SMS and 1 VMS. 11 SMS was bought for his youngest son Shaneel Mike Shah on his 11th birthday and can be seen on their red Mercedes 200 SL. 1 VMS was for his eldest, Vishal Mike Shah and put on an eye-catching black Mini. Mike bought both as incentive for his son to do well at university and to pass his driving test the next time he is home.
Mike is a great believer in buying quality cars from specialist dealers and is never afraid to travel in order to get what he wants. He drove to Lancaster for his wife’s C180, to Devon for his son’s Mini and a comparative short hop to Crystal Palace in South London back in 1991, for the 200 SL. Fortunately, Mike didn’t have to go very far to buy three of his prized number plates from Regtransfers, and we were very happy when he rated the service he received as “excellent”.