Attrition in the channel is compared to trench warfare by one of the industry?s great survivors, SCH chairman Peter Rigby .
In a speech marking his award as the 1996 Midland businessman of the year, he warned of the risks the entrepreneur had to take. ?I turned my back on a good, comfortable career with the responsibilities of a mortgage and a young family. Starting any business from scratch is no mean feat, but the casualty rate in computer sales and services is reminiscent of the trenches in the First World War.
In an interview with the Birmingham Post, Rigby said the true entrepreneur was someone who had done it himself without asking others to take the risk. People who make a success through a family business or on the back of venture capital, are not true entrepreneurs, he believes. ?I don?t think that is taking a chance.?
He also deplored the way the UK treats its entrepreneurs. ?I don?t think the climate in Britain necessarily encourages that type of entrepreneurial spirit. People don?t distinguish it from a ?get rich approach?.?
Rigby is the 14th winner of the award, following in the footsteps of former recipients such as Michael Bishop of British Midland and Jaguar chairman Nick Scheele.
SCH, which owns reseller SCC, the Byte computer store chain and distributor ETC, expects to increase sales from #318 million to #500 million this year and is aiming for a #1 billion turnover by 2000.
Rigby is reportedly still not ruling out a flotation for SCH, but told the Birmingham Post two weeks ago that he had no immediate plans to go public. In the past year, SCH acquired Data Translation Networking, Qudis, Network SI?s maintenance business and certain Escom franchises.
This acquisitive flow shows no sign of let-up especially when, as he has said before, Rigby gets an offer to buy a business every week.
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