Business After Sport With Josh Navidi

Retired Welsh Rugby Star Josh Navidi Shifts Gears with Cute Club

In the fast-paced world of business, former Welsh rugby player Josh Navidi has found his stride with Cute Club, a venture that captures his passion for cars.

Having started the business during his playing career in 2018, Navidi now devotes his full attention to Cute Club after sadly announcing his retirement due to a persistent neck injury.

In this exclusive interview, we delve into the origins of Cute Club, Navidi’s transition from professional rugby to the business world, and the role his family played in shaping his passion for cars.

Join us as we explore Navidi’s journey from the rugby field to the realm of entrepreneurship and discover how he continues to embrace new challenges and opportunities with the same competitive spirit that fuelled his sporting career.

What inspired you to start your business, Cute Club, and when did it all begin?

I started Cute Club back in 2018. I’ve always been passionate about getting the best value for money when buying and selling cars.

I used to purchase cars at a low price, drive them for a year or two, and try to minimise my losses. I’ve always preferred owning quirky and unique vehicles, ranging from high-performance cars to those with good fuel efficiency.

Did your family play a role in your passion for cars?

My dad was a petrol head, and growing up, he would frequently change his cars. He introduced me to the world of cars through a stamp collecting scheme that rewarded customers with car models.

I used to play with those models, and now they would be worth a fortune! My love for racing games and experiences with go-karts and motocross further fuelled my interest in cars and bikes.

How has the transition from professional rugby to the business world been for you?

Fortunately, it’s been smooth. With Cute Club already established before my retirement, I had prior experience in the working environment.

Growing up, I worked in my dad’s gym and my brother’s salon, so I was familiar with the dynamics of running a business, but adapting to the real world outside of sports has its differences and challenges.

Has being involved in business helped you cope with the moments of injury and stepping away from rugby?

Absolutely. Having a focus off the pitch is crucial. During my injury, I found myself busier than ever. I had more time to dedicate to Cute Club and engaged in Q&A sessions and other activities.

Having Jack (Wilkins, a close friend) alongside me was great because he handled tasks such as car pickups, customer interactions, and bidding. Now that we’re both in the office, we can bounce ideas off each other and establish a good rhythm.

Let’s talk about your decision to retire from rugby. Can you share your thoughts on that?

The decision was made for me, as my body wasn’t responding well. It would have been different if I were younger and still pursuing certain goals.

However, I feel content with what I have accomplished in rugby. While another World Cup would have been a dream, I’ve come to accept the situation.

There are aspects I miss, such as the camaraderie in the changing room and celebrating victories, but it’s still fun with the boys in the office and the mechanics, we have a good laugh!

What are your thoughts on the public reaction following your decision to retire?

The response has been overwhelming. The comments and messages I received after announcing my retirement were touching. It’s humbling to realise the impact I’ve had on some people’s lives.

Do you have any interest in staying involved in rugby, perhaps in a coaching capacity?

I would never rule it out. Coaching local teams has always been enjoyable for me. It’s rewarding to see players implement the skills and knowledge I’ve shared with them. Coaching gives me a similar buzz to when I was a player on the field.

And I know as well that you enjoy a bit of DJing on the side! How are you enjoying that at the moment?

It’s been quite busy lately, with gigs happening at least once a week. DJing has been an enjoyable and different experience for me. Initially, I bought the decks just to have something to do instead of playing video games at home.

But one thing led to another, and now it’s become a fun side venture. Playing some tunes at Judgement Day was pretty fun, it would be great to keep that connection to rugby going strong.

Are you still as competitive in business as you were during your sporting career? 

Yes, absolutely. The competitiveness is still there. I believe in striving for excellence and ensuring everything is done right.

What do you think has contributed to the current state of your business?

Building strong relationships has been a key factor for us. We prioritise taking care of our customers, ensuring they know they’ll be looked after here. After all, it’s my name on the line, so maintaining those relationships is crucial.

Can you tell us a little bit about the role your dad has played in guiding you?

Absolutely! My dad has been my main mentor in business over the years, along with my brother. We used to have conversations every night solely focused on business when we started.

Nowadays, it’s more of a general chit-chat, catching up on how things are going. He’s always there to offer help and advice, drawing from his own experiences. We’re fortunate to have his guidance.

Looking ahead, what are your future plans for Cute Club?

Our goal is to continue building up Cute Club and see where it takes us. We’re focused on expanding our operations, filling up the forecourt, and making more car sales in the coming year. We’re always open to new opportunities that may come our way.