Up and coming: Nicholas Mounard of Farm Africa

Mounard, 36, is chief executive of the agricultural charity Farm Africa. Before that he was managing director of fair-trade charity Twin and its subsidiary company Twin Trading

Nicholas Mounard
Nicholas Mounard

Q. How did you become a chief executive?

When I was 29, I was the chief finance officer at Alter Eco, a French food company, and it went through a massive crisis and was losing a lot of money. The shareholders couldn't sell it so I said "Let me try and run it",and they gave me the opportunity.

Q. Have you noticed any differences between working in France and England?

Here people have fewer preconceived ideas. They don't think "he's young, wearing jeans, has curly hair, he doesn't fit the profile of the perfect chief executive" - it's far more results driven. If you can do the job right, it's all good.

Q. How do you switch off from work?

I run, and when I'm done running I have a glass of red. I used to play rugby but I broke both my shoulders and kept dislocating them and at some point, if you keep coming into the office with a broken nose or shoulder people start to think you were in a fight - so I had to shift to running.

Q. And if you could have any super-power?

I would like to keep being 25 but with the maturity of advancing years - I don't know if that counts as a super-power.

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