Shaper: Pablo Ettinger

Show aired on 3rd March 2018


Pablo Ettinger

Paul “Pablo” Ettinger was raised in Austria, France and Germany, where, at a young age he discovered his passion for music – songwriting and studying classical piano from the young age of five. After achieving a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics and Electronics from the University of Southampton and an MBD in Business Administration and Management from INSEAD, France, Pablo became a Commerical Director at Courtaulds PLC, a chemicals company. Where European coffee culture made a lasting impression, Pablo co-founded the internationally successful Caffé Nero in 1987, which he later utilised to continue his musical enthusiasm; by playing the music of emerging musicians in their 800+ stores across nine countries. Pablo now organizes and hosts Caffé Nero’s live music nights, and curates stages at major UK festivals. He is defined as an entrepreneur who creates and develops businesses to become highly successful brands, including the more recent Talentbanq.

Follow Pablo on Twitter @Pabloett.

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“I was brought up in France, Germany and Austria so I knew the European coffee house culture very well and we just didn’t understand why it didn’t exist in England, in the UK.”

“At that time I was still running a chemical company in Germany, but Gerry Ford just rang me up one day and he said ‘Pablo you know about food don’t you?’ I have two passions.  One is cooking and the other is music and I was the only person he knew who had an MBA and knew about food.”

“I do a number of things, some of which happened by accident and some of which were by design.”

“I’ve been a tech investor for a while, investing in tech for various different types of tech company. Some of them I sit on the Board, some of them I am a passive investor.”

“I have been working in music because of the Caffé Nero music programme which I really developed over eighteen years.”

“I am an amateur musician, I love playing blues and jazz and boogie on the piano.”

“You get to a point where you are playing in the coffee bars, either on a sound system or live music. We have music showcases every month and we have a permanent stage at Heathrow and we sponsor various music festivals.”

“Mervyn Davis said ‘right who is going to join me on stage?’ So I stuck my hand up, and he said ‘right get up here’. So he allowed me to play three notes and he started playing a boogie base and he said ‘right Pablo, play those notes’ so I played the three notes and he said ‘that was very good, just do it again a few times’ and then of course I launch into a full boogie woogie right hand.”

“I might not be the best in the world at anything but you know, food, music, business, whatever, I can turn my hand to a number of things and I like doing that.”

“At times it does become crazy and I think my brain is a bit overwhelmed, but I love the creativity of doing different things and working with people who are creative and building business.”

“I mean money is not important other than you have to eat and you need a roof over your head but you know, I don’t need that eighty metre yacht.”