Nik Grimshaw is the director and founder of The Bay Business Centre in Morecambe.
He is married and lives in the South Lakes
What was your first job?
I was a teacher of colloquial English at Donetsk Military Base.
I served in the Red Army 19 Huzzars 1971 to 1978.
I was born in Ukraine and remained a citizen whilst living in the UK as a displaced person.
When I was 18 I was called up for military service as part of conscription requirements. Having lived in institutions (Dr Barnados) throughout my childhood in England, another institution seemed a logical step, especially as a teacher.
How do you relax after a hard day’s work?
I play balalaika badly
Proudest moment in business?
Being part of small team looking after Mrs Thatcher when she went to Moscow to attend a wedding in 1984 as part of her diplomatic mission.
I was employed by the Embassy of the USSR in London at the time. She repaid the service by inviting me to Downing Street in 1985 for tea.
Most embarrassing moment at work?
Being caught keeping a Russian student warm in the London School of Economics.
The heating was on the blink at the time... and that’s my excuse!
What is your biggest vice?
Vodka, although I restrict myself to special occasions like Sunday lunch.
Biggest influence on your life?
My father, a great survivor without any malice.
He was deported from the UK in 1948 as part of the Yalta Agreement because he came from the Eastern region of the Ukraine, and was subsequently tried as a traitor to the USSR.
His punishment was to work as a miner in the Dombass coalfields, and he was excluded from any education.
A word of business advice?
Treat starting your business like preparing for a marathon – it’s all in the preparation and the pain.