Arnie Singh is the managing director of Sheffield’s City Taxis, the UK’s third-largest independent private hire operator. City’s near 1,900 staff and drivers now handle 1,200 business accounts and around six million journeys a year, lapping the world 20 times a week.
Arnie has just been named Sheffield Businessperson of the Year. Born and raised in Sheffield, Arnie was educated at Birkdale School then studied music at Sheffield University followed by a Masters in leisure management. After commuting to Huddersfield University under the Teach First programme, Arnie became a music teacher at Tapton School. Just 18 months later, he was invited to change careers and join City Taxis in 2005. He was appointed managing director six years later. Arnie lives in Fulwood with wife Kathy and sons Harry, five, and Jamie, two, plus their two cats Jaz and Theo. His other great loves are Sheffield Wednesday, golf, guitar and his home city of Sheffield.
Birkdale played such a big part in my life from the ages of four to 18. Me and my brother made lifelong friends at this school which was more like a family. Many of these friends we still see around Sheffield to this day, from business to the golf courses and pubs. I developed my love of music at Birkdale. Now the next generation, my own sons and nephews, are loving life at this excellent school.
I’ve played golf since I was 10. My godfather, Jack Timms, introduced me to the game. I became a junior member of Hillsborough Golf Club 15 years ago then decided to move to Abbeydale for the past four years as two close friends were members. I was then invited to join Lindrick, where I am still a member, but last year joined Hallamshire Golf Club as it’s so local. For me it’s the number one course in Sheffield with fantastic greens and a challenging layout.
I studied for my music degree here at 18, met some great people and loved having a flat in Broomhill. The department was at the top of Taptonville Road, next to the Grindstone, our local. I had a year out, then returned for my Masters at the university’s business school, where my dissertation was on the feasibility of building another golf driving range on the Ponderosa.
I grew up in Wisewood and me and my brother were taken to see the Owls play from about seven years old by our dad’s best friend, Bill. Bill was the Wednesday doctor and he used to take us with his son Roddy - now my brother-in-law. I have been a season ticket holder to this day. City have supported the club as a business through corporate sponsorship, off the back of which I am now proud to be a trustee of the Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme.
Family is central to everything we are and do, and my mum is the glue that holds the family together. My brother and sister moved away, but are now both back within a few miles. My brother Indy is almost a non-exec director at City, a valued confidante and advisor to me. My sister Sunita also teaches ICT at Tapton and works in City’s finance department one day a week. We all acknowledge our dad - a local doctor - was and is the key figure in our lives. All three of us owe everything to him. When I won the business award, I told everyone it was a team game and it is. Without my wife Kathy’s support of me and my work and the love of my boys and family, I would not have been on that platform.
My other family at City
I feel privileged to have a huge extended family in City. The business was originally founded by three families and we still believe in following those family traditions.
Ranmoor Inn & Lynne’s Pantry
‘The Ranny’ is a regular haunt on a Friday after work to converse with friends, put a close to the week and make a great start to the weekend. It’s a real community hub. Nigel and Vanessa are missed. And whenever I’m in town, I always make a habit of dropping into Lynne’s Pantry on Surrey Street which was founded by one of my best friends’ mums. Lynne is sadly no longer with us, but every time I walk into the shop I get a wave of fond memories. Lynne was one of life’s characters, full of warmth and love. You can still feel her love in the place.