Rocking for Autism

Sanjay Shah is a British businessman and philanthropist. He is currently the CEO of Solo Capital Partners. Solo Capital was founded in September 2011, is based in London, and offers investment management, securities lending, agency brokerage and safeguarding. After five years, the company had a net worth of $280 million and offices in Dubai and London, so Sanjay decided to focus on his charity projects.

Sanjay monetarily sponsored children’s charities in India through Plan International for a period of ten years before choosing to focus on autism. In 2011, his youngest son, Nikhil was diagnosed with autism and this discovery gave Sanjay a new and personal charitable direction to pursue. He was financially stable and could afford all of the available treatments to help his son, but he recognized other families were not so fortunate. He acknowledged that the child whose family does not have the means to pay for therapy would not develop as quickly. He wanted to do more than simply donate money to the cause so close to his heart. As a resident of Dubai, he approached the Dubai Autism Center and asked how he could help. They needed transportation so he purchased two mini-buses for the center. This was not enough for Sanjay because he wanted to be more involved and contribute even more. He also felt strongly about acquiring additional knowledge about why autism occurs. A chance meeting with Snoop Dogg changed his life and gave him the inspiration to use music as a charitable mechanism to aid research on autism.

In 2014, Sanjay founded the organization Autism Rocks. The goal of the company is to increase awareness of and research for autism. Snoop Dogg’s visit motivated Sanjay to use music as a means to raise money in aid of autism. The entrepreneur stages gigs in London and Dubai to raise money for the charity. He has attracted the support of a number of talented stars such as Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Elvis Costello and Joss Stone. The money raised goes directly to the Autism Research Trust (ART), which supports the research done by the Autism Research Centre (ARC) at Cambridge University.

Autism Rocks arranges exclusive concerts with high profile artists which not only raises funds, but also to increase autism awareness. Sanjay plans to increase the frequency of the concerts, and hopes to continue pulling in megastars to support the charity. His future plans include putting together a compilation album to help attract artists and to raise as much awareness and money for the condition as possible.

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