Posts Tagged ‘awards’

UK National Business Awards 2017 Re-cap

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Brains, beauty and entrepreneurial endeavour were celebrated on a searingly loud night at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane, a passing resemblance to X Factor.

When “Lords, Ladies and commoners” were asked to take their seats, Sir Mo Farah burst onto the stage and broke the first royal protocol, telling us the private thoughts of The Queen at his knighthood ceremony earlier in the day. “Aren’t you retired?” Well not quite, we might see him on the final day in Tokyo 2020 chasing a marathon gold.

On a day that awards host, UBM, announced impressive half yearly figures, we learned the secret of their success, maximising profit per square foot. PR supremo and philanthropist, Charles Watson, media lawyer Mark Stephens (without his former WikiLeaks client, Julian Assange) and an eclectic crowd including me were squeezed onto a tiny table that resembled the docks at Sassoon Fish Market in Mumbai.

Three personal favourites among the tremendous British entrepreneurial success stories recognised on the night.

Bill Holmes and his business, Radius Payment Solutions, winner of the Inflexion Private Equity Entrepeneur of the Year Award (I was a judge this year). Chislehurst-born Bill has created a gargantuan global fuel card and telematics business – current sales close to £1.5 billion – over 25 years. He has given countless employees life experiences and wealth opportunities beyond their wildest dreams while being a huge benefactor for a multitude of community issues in the firm’s hometown, Crewe, in the UK’s northwest region. To top that he has brought up two wonderful daughters, who are in their early twenties are pursing their own passions with great success and energy.

Children’s food pioneer, Annabel Karmel who is a walking and talking example of taking a life-changing experience and doing something meaningful with it. Not content with being a celebrated author, adviser, marketeer and creator of innovative products, Annabel is set to bring healthy kids food and beverages to the Chinese. Having listened yesterday to Henrietta Lovell revealing the secrets of The Rare Tea Company’s marketing success selling tea to the Chinese – unprecedented trust and integrity – you would be brave to bet against Annabel doing the exact same thing.

At the other stage of entrepreneurial life, two family friends of mine, Sara and Maria Trechman, and their business, Well and Truly were winners of The Duke of York’s New Entrepreneur of The Year Award. Barely 1 year old, their business is creating amazing all natural snacks and is an object of huge interest amongst UK, and I confidently predict, global retailers. Perhaps The Duke had other priorities this week but I bet it won’t be long before he is looking for the glamorous photo opportunity (without the dodgy lighting). Well done too to my Aunt Alice, who had the fortitude to follow her instinct and back them in their first raise!

© James Berkeley 2017. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

2017 Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

 

I have had the great pleasure this year participating as a judge for the UK’s 2017 UK National Business Awards. The panel, some of the most impressive figures in UK industry and private equity, recently met with 11 inspiring entrepreneurs to determine the 2017 Inflexion Private Equity Entrepreneur of the Year. While you will have to wait until November for the announcement of the winner, here are some traits of “The Exceptional Entrepreneur”:

  • Self-determined. They don’t rely on others largesse to achieve success. They don’t bemoan their fate, they seek quick ways to change course. They believe their destiny is their own hands, their success is largely a function of applying their own skills and judgement to overcome foreseen and unforeseen obstacles.
  • Enthusiastic. They have tremendous passion and love what they do but most importantly they don’t allow that enthusiasm to evolve into blind zeal. Where zealots are motivated to solely convert others to their way of thinking, they are willing to find compromise where it allows them to accelerate towards their goals.
  • Intellectually curious. They are fast, mobile and quick to react to or even better anticipate competitive trends. The depth and breadth of their intellectual curiosity has enabled them to become people of interest to a diverse audience.
  • Flexible. They are focused on outputs not inputs and willing to switch paths at very short notice. Recognising that their success is not predicated on sticking to pre-conceived ideas rather their awareness of changing customer and market needs.
  • Time and awareness. They know where they are precisely in terms of the evolution of their business and the change agents impacting their markets. Such that they find it easy to make smart decisions today about the future.
  • Clear purpose for their wealth. They have a belief system that easily reconciles the differences between the utility of the financial, intellectual, social and cultural wealth they have created for themselves and their key constituents. While money is important, it is seen merely as the fuel for the life they choose to live.
  • Empathetic. Their emotional stimulae are acutely tuned to the needs of the people around them and the structured and unstructured situations that they find themselves in. Such that they seek to earn others respect ahead of being liked.
  • Stature. What others see, not what they hear or what they read, commands instant respect. They possess an inner confidence that in the company of others, draws people to them and to want to engage with them on a variety of issues, beyond their domain expertise. It has nothing to do with their physical size, how loud they shout or how deliberately they flaunt their success. They are not a “one trick pony”.
  • Time is a priority, not a resource issue. They possess both routine and exceptional discipline and organisation, which enables them to create speed. Priorities are quickly determined and actioned. They don’t procrastinate, nor do they waste time on irrelevant tasks and activities. Nor do they over-staff their businesses.
  • Ego and Resilience. They have learned to “park” their ego. They accept that they will both win and lose on their entrepreneurial journey but the result will never will impact their own opinion of themselves. Such that in defeat they are able to rebound quickly and figure out the best way to achieve that.
  • See the funny side of life. They are able to be both a gracious winner and a gracious loser. To laugh in equal measure at their good fortune and their bad luck. Their default position is to improve the situation, keep smiling and institutionalise the learning, not to seek blame in a crisis. Knowing that is what it is expected of them as a leader.

© James Berkeley 2017. All Rights Reserved.