Career so far: I originally wanted to be a tank commander, but the army didn’t agree. I studied to be a quantity surveyor, which proved too uninspiring, so I got a job with a local estate agency to pay the bills – I sold more houses than any other agent in the company. Then thanks to a drinking buddy, I got a job as a fishmonger. I spent 18 months setting up a supply route to the top hotels and restaurants in the Cotswold-Oxford region. I then met the now chairman of Zycko in the local pub and started to work in his original brokerage business as his first salesperson, later sales manager. Originally called RBR Networks, we grew from $50m to over $500m per annum, being the largest Cisco distributor in the UK and Germany, and later renamed Comstor. I started at Zycko in 2001 and am now group sales and marketing director.
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be and what would you do? It wouldn’t be worth changing places just for a week.
What would you have as your last meal? The exact contents would very much be dependent on my mood when faced with my final moments. A tasting menu would be superb, which would perhaps include some of the following: white truffle risotto served with chilled Krug; Jamon de Jabugo; fillet of turbot with a freshly made hollandaise; asparagus and fondant potatoes with a light shellfish sauce; sorbet to cleanse the palate; and finally a trio of desserts – passion fruit, chocolate and mango with a dessert wine.
What is the best corporate jolly you have ever been on/taken partners on? It goes back to the RBR days with a visit to Spain. A plane full of guests, Top 40 musicians and theatrical acts made for an extreme weekend that included the Half Monty, inappropriate Roman candle displays and everything in excess. Being awarded a lifetime ban from the hotel and a significant repair bill made for a legendary party.
Do you see the cloud as a threat or an opportunity? A complete opportunity for Zycko.
Have any of your predictions come true this year? We were confident that our value-added approach to distribution would allow us to create opportunities for our channel, even during the recession. This belief was reaffirmed as we grew in a year many fell by the wayside.
What do you see as the channel’s biggest challenge in 2011? I don’t think we’ll suffer from a double dip, but the last quarter has seen the market struggling and the banks continue to be difficult. Maintaining a value-added approach will be the channel’s biggest challenge. Channel partners that can create opportunities independent of the vendor or integrator, as we have done, will stand out and profit.
What is the best part of your day? It has to be a joint first between reading a bedtime book to my five-year-old daughter and discovering the delights of her day at school, and spending time with my wife.
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