IT was a rare public talk by the man who likes to be less famous than his fashion brand, Ted Baker.

Ray Kelvin was in the Daily Echo building to share some of his business secrets – and to talk of the £80million he has invested in Bournemouth.

“I used to come to Bournemouth as a kid. I came from a Jewish family and this resort of Bournemouth was full of Jewish hotels,” he said.

“I can remember them. The Ambassador, the Majestic, the Cumberland, but the real posh one was the Green Park. I went out with a girl from the Green Park Hotel.

“Everybody used to gravitate to Bournemouth.”

Mr Kelvin was in Bournemouth to speak to a Virgin StartUp gathering at THIS Workspace, the shared workspace he has bankrolled in the Echo building.

The 61-year-old told how he established Ted Baker as a Glasgow shirt seller in 1988.

“The real reason I didn’t use my real name is, when I founded the business I thought for sure it would be a failure and I didn’t want to walk around being a failure for the rest of my life,” he said.

“Now I’m successful I still use the Ted Baker name. It’s not about me, it’s about the people.”

The company employs 6,000, with 650 at its London base. The headquarters has a “hug culture”, with embraces replacing handshakes. He says the idea arose out of a rheumatic complaint which made it painful for him to shake hands.

Mr Kelvin said the business had been valued at £1.6billion. “I own 40 per cent of the business, which is not bad,” he said.

“We’re very modest and we don’t talk about money every day, like I think most businesses do. What we talk about is how we can do things better,” he said.

“It all starts with people and I love the people so much. This is genuine. I’m just a boy done good. I love the people in the business and I want to see them be successful.”

He told his audience of entrepreneurs: “Don’t do it for money in the first place. Do it for doing it well.”

He also urged people not to draw wealth from their businesses early on, but to re-invest. “My dad said re-invest in your business because it’s the business you know – and it’s compounded,” he added.

Mr Kelvin told how he failed his 11-plus and couldn’t get a maths O-level, but learned about selling from his mother.

“Wherever I go in the world, someone says to me ‘I knew your mum’. She taught me everything about retail,” he said.

Those lessons included only promoting what you have in stock – and never mentioning competitors by name. When people asked his mother for directions to Marks & Spencer, he said, “she used to say, ‘This is Ted Baker. Never heard of them’.”

He told how he had become savvy at marketing in the early days. “Before there was digital and social marketing, we used to think that way. We tried to find ways we could connect people with the brand without advertising,” he said.

“It’s guerilla or viral marketing. We did that in 1988 when there wasn’t a term for it.”

Starting a business today was difficult, he said, and the internet had “decimated” the high street. “I’m a creative thinker but whatever I think of in terms of a new business, somebody’s done it – and I like the early mover advantage,” he added.

Mr Kelvin told of his frequent fly-fishing breaks and said “I’m not a workaholic. I have a life-work balance.”

The chief executive who once played tennis at the West Hants Club and whose father served with the RAF at Hurn, said: “I have a big attachment to Bournemouth.

“That’s one of the reasons why when property became available up the road, I bought the land. I’m proud of the Hilton Hotel. I own the Hilton Hotel, not Ted Baker but Ray.”

The Hilton had been an “incredible success”, he said.

“Then I built this,” he said of THIS Workspace.

“What we’re creating here is the first ever community building where people can come – start up smaller business, medium businesses, they can work in the most productive environment.”