Sanjay Shah a Dubai entrepreneur at home one afternoon, couldn’t believe the phone call he had just received; the famous rap artist Snoop Dogg wanted to visit his home. The music artist was inspired by the Dubai area and after visiting a local radio station decided that Sanjay’s home was just the spot. After the spontaneous visit from the award-winning artist, Sanjay Shah Denmark was inspired to start his current charity Autism Rocks, which utilizes celebrity talent in the music industry to perform and raise money for autism awareness and treatment. The cause is near to Sanjay’s heart as his youngest son Nikhil had been diagnosed with the condition back in 2011. Sanjay’s commitment to the charity has allowed him to book such artists as Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Elvis Costello, and Jos Stone, just to name a few. Sanjay stated that “It’s been an incredible journey”, and that all the money goes to the Autism Research Trust (ART) which supports the Autism Research Centre (ARC) stating that all of the proceeds go toward the research and preventative treatment of Autism.
Asking for donations can be a daunting task for anyone, however Sanjay is no stranger to a challenge. Working as a banker for Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse and Rabobank for close to 20 years Sanjay had some great professional experience to help him build his charity. However Sanjay hit a rough spot in 2008 where he was unemployed. Sanjay who is never one to back down from a challenge battled through tough times to create his own investment, brokerage and principal management trading business named Solo Capital. This also motivated Sanjay to do more, he wanted to support the research and treatment of autism. Sanjay felt that this would be the best way to support families with autistic children. Sanay worked hard to set up monthly contributions to the UK-based ART. Sanjay also felt lucky because his company Solo Capital had been able to be so successful that Sanjay was able to let the company run itself. Sanjay can be found spending about an hour on the phone every other day to London, making sure his charity runs, but other than that Sanjay is pretty much hands off. Sanjay feels that he is semi-retired.
Sanjay continues to this day setting up concerts and dealing with celebrities in the music industry. Sanjay reaches out on a regular basis to artists passing through London or Dubai asking if they would be willing to do private concerts for charity. It was multi-talented rock-star Lenny Kravitz who answered back to Sanjay deciding to perform as a warm up to his performance at the iTunes festival which attracted 1,500 people. “It was an amazing night” stated Sanjay.
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