How Mayfair-based Starr Luxury Cars is set to reach stratospheric success
Founder Ikenna Ordor tells Tempus how the supercar hire and chauffeur service is aiming for global domination
From luxury car hire to elegant chauffeur services, there's one business in London that has plans in motion to become the only name on the discerning client's lips. Ikenna Ordor's Starr Luxury Cars boasts the largest and most complete fleet of supercars and luxury vehicles in the UK, willing and able to meet even the most demanding request – want to be James Bond for a day, or even ride around in a Batmobile? Ordor has you covered.
Ordor was born in Nigeria to a diplomatic family – his father was a politician – before moving to the UK at the age of 14. He credits his entrepreneurial mother for his business aptitude, and worked as a club promoter for a series of A-List venues in opulent Mayfair before founding Starr Luxury Cars in 2016 as a private hire services. Since then, Ordor and his team have added a chauffeur service that caters to HNWs, diplomats and celebrities – including singer Pixie Lott at the BRITs Official Aftershow Party in partnership with Tempus – with absolute discretion, and is expanding into concierge-like experiences. But as he tells Tempus, the road ahead is global domination…
Starr is a luxury car service with a real emphasis on style. What is the key to maintaining that high level of luxury?
We operate with the ethos of saying 'yes' to our clients' requests across our entire stream of services. Whether that's a supercar or Rolls Royce Phantom waiting on the tarmac next to your jet when you exit, expediting your travel and by-passing the main terminal. We offer the same level of bespoke service to our private clients, high-profile celebrities and diplomats, and our commercial clients. When Nike needed a James Bond Spectre style Landrover Defender, we built one to specification and made their photoshoot come alive for their London force campaign. To truly maintain our elevated level of luxury, Starr Luxury Cars stays consistent and creative in the way we deliver our service to our clients.
You have the largest fleet of luxury cars in the UK. How important is that?
The selection of premium vehicles on our books is our pride and joy. Not only are we able to offer you a luxurious Sprinter for executive group travel, or a supercar for a flashy drive around Knightsbridge and Mayfair, but we also have access to some of the most outrageous cars in the world. Our extensive collection includes world record holders, perfect for going international on the Autobahn. If you really want to stand out from the rest, we can offer the Batmobile or the Shelby Gt500 from the Fast and Furious franchise. We find that having a vast fleet always allows us to offer our clients exactly what they are looking for. At any given moment, we will always have a client chauffeured in a Mercedes S-Class or Range Rover. >>
Do you have a personal favourite?
My personal favourite to drive is the Lamborghini Aventador. With the roof off it is always a joy to feel the wind over my balding head and hear the accompanying roar from the engine. Driving this car guarantees you'll attract attention - people see you and know you're too cool for school. When being chauffeured, a Rolls Royce Phantom tells the world that you have arrived - not just to your destination, but in life. There's no going back. I am truly passionate about luxury cars. Having turned my passion into a business means that it never feels like I am working.
Your team also provides chauffeurs for huge events - what are some of the challenges you face?
Ah yes, the large-scale stuff. That's where the work comes in. There are so many moving parts with events, from a celebrity's arrival time on the red carpet to keeping track of which dignitaries go in which vehicles, and their itineraries. Singer Pixie Lott was one of the celebrity guests aboard Starr Luxury Cars during the recent BRIT awards - she was very pleasant to the chauffeurs and a joy to have as a client. This isn't always the case, and some clients can be harder to please, but my team is trained to provide the very best service in all circumstances.
What's the most satisfying or excitement element to running Starr?
That every day is different. Nobody wants to be working in a monotonous environment, so I make sure none of my team feel this way. On some days, I have the marketing team out in the field delivering cars directly to clients and occasionally they are at the garage understanding the maintenance of the vehicles. In my previous business of nightlife promotions, one of the most exciting elements was meeting new people, whether celebrities or just interesting characters. I really enjoy this at Starr too, and our clients vary through the entire spectrum of personalities, from Saudi royals to rap artists and wealthy business owners. We also like to surprise our clients - we regularly surprise brides with a Rolls Royce Phantom upgrade from a standard luxury vehicle booking. It's extremely satisfying to make people happy, and we are always considering how we can do better for our clients.
How important is discretion in your line of work, particularly with regards to your high profile or diplomatic clientele?
Discretion is fundamental to all our operations. We understand that some of our clients are very security-conscious, and we recruit domestic personal drivers for HNWs. I have been star struck, of course. I am not sure if this counts, but I saw Barack Obama and his convoy of heavy duty American cars driving past the Royal Albert Hall during his last visit. I was in a Range Rover Vogue but It felt so small in comparison to their convoy. I am inspired by all our wealthy clients that have an air of humility. >>
Before you moved to London, your father was a politician. Did this equip you for your current business or as an entrepreneur?
At a young age I watched my father's fellow politicians pay him home visits for serious meetings, and from then I always knew I wanted to be a leader. In terms of being an entrepreneur, that's all my mother. I really studied the bravery of entrepreneurship my mother possessed, from juggling jobs, to shipping electronics and buying as much property as she could get hold of. At the age of almost 70 she has recently purchased a building back in Nigeria which she intends to turn into Hotel. The ambition is consistent, and I truly believe if I have employed half the ambition my mother has employed over the years, the success will be boundless.
Do you have an ethos in business that you live by?
Hard work, honesty and integrity is key. Reading the book Talent is overrated by Geoffery Colvin, I have come to understand that world class performers across all industries are connected by consistent, deliberate practice. If you practice good business on a daily basis you will become world class at delivering for your clients.
What's next for you and your company?
I really see Starr Luxury becoming as successful as Jet Smarter and turning into a household name for luxury vehicles and lifestyle. I have recently relinquished my interested in my restaurant business to focus fully on Starr Luxury Cars. I have funded the company on my own for the past two years, we have proven our business concept and achieved some great things and are now in the process of a small round of capital raising. Our plan is to up the ante with our operations and share our service offering with the world, from preferred Formula 1 Hospitality tickets to experience days in partnership with major marques like Landrover and Mercedes. Inevitably we are going to reach our main goal of being a fully pledged digital company - digital is the future. Finally, we are aiming to launch the E-commerce element of our site very soon, and we have some very interesting products to offer to our core client base.