Damien Dally, head of brand, Alfa Romeo
What has been your biggest achievement in your current role?
While I have been at Alfa Romeo for nine years, I have only been in my current role since January.
I think it’s my job to understand our dealers’ and customers’ needs and provide the correct solutions and messages for each of them. To measure the effectiveness of this will require some more time…
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My boss at the agency I first worked at. When I was in my early 20s he told me if I worked really hard he would give me a company car – I killed myself to get that car (an Audi A4).
I was the youngest of all my friends to have a new/company car and I had an ear-to-ear smile!
What is your dream holiday?
I really like Thailand – we went to Phi Phi Island for our honeymoon which was amazing. We were extremely lucky as we missed the tsunami by three days and for a long, long time it upset me to think about it but I would love to visit again.
Who was the last person you received a text message from?
The bank – my weekly statement. I am not much of a texter – I always respond but am usually brief.
What is your favourite sitcom?
I think most American TV is trash but my favourite TV shows are 24, Spooks, Lewis and British dramas.
What is your favourite film?
This is going to make me look like a geek but I love Star Wars. I don’t dress up as Yoda at the weekend but I still love it as much today as I did back then.
You are on a desert island – what three things do you take with you?
My wife and two kids, obviously. However, if I wanted a peaceful vacation it would be my iphone loaded with my favourite tunes, the latest Harlan Coben novel and the Sunday papers (hopefully, it’s the weekend).
When was the last time you took public transport?
I love driving, so not very often. However, I usually catch the train into London. It’s quicker and cheaper and you can read/work on the train.
What would you do if you were made Prime Minister for the day?
This is really tough as there are a lot of things that I would want to do.
I have always thought inheritance tax is grossly unfair; you pay tax on income, then pay tax on your savings and then when you pass it to your kids they pay tax again – madness!
While I am on a roll – Stamp Duty is a complete waste of money.
If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
An Alfa 8C. It’s great for the Alfa brand to have such a halo car but depressing to know I will never be able to own one. Winning the lottery is probably the only way – I’ll start buying tickets.
What has been your biggest mistake in business?
In my first job I signed off a dealer direct mail piece with the wrong address on it. We printed thousands.
Fortunately, I realised before we sent it to customers. It has taught me to check, check and check again.
What is your favourite childhood memory?
My grandparents owned a shop and I loved being around the business. It’s probably a romantic vision as I suspect the reality for them was long hours and hard work.
What is your favourite dish at a restaurant?
Lobster linguine – I love it, but when I try it at home I can never get it right. Our Alfa Romeo brand ambassador Aldo Zilli cooks it like no one else.
What is your favourite book?
Difficult to say but I have read The Great Gatsby many times and it’s very rare that I would ever read a book twice. I really like the characters and their complex relationships.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Honest and straight-talking, ready to roll up my sleeves and not ask anyone to do something I would not do myself.
When did you last feel guilty about the environment?
This morning. I drink a lot of water and I left the tap running to ensure it was cold – I hate waste, but I like lukewarm water even less.
Who was your childhood hero?
Harrison Ford – he was Han Solo and Indiana Jones.
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
Have fun. Life gets serious too fast.
What is the one object you could not live without?
From a business perspective, my Blackberry. Personally, my TV.
Which superhero from comics would you most like to be?
Batman. He had a cool suit, fast car and was rich.
What has been the pivotal moment in your life?
Becoming a father – exciting and scary. All of a sudden, I am responsible for this little life.