Group managing director, The DTP Group
Career so far I originally trained as an apprentice mechanical engineer, then promoted to a draughtsman, then designer, before becoming hooked on IT when using very early CAD systems. I funded myself through a three-month business computing course before getting a junior sales role at the birth of the PC, first Olivetti then first Amstrad PC, before setting up DTP in 1987 at the tender age of 23. I lived with my grandparents who made the mistake of going on holiday for two weeks and came home to a lounge full of PCs. I've been stuck at DTP ever since, although now have my own lounge!
What was your first job and were you any good at it? I was an apprentice engineer for a company called Rose Foregrove that designed and built packaging machinery. I hated it but still managed to get promoted from the shop floor into the drawing office, then onto the design office. My real expertise was my role as the company's football team manager!
Who was your top teenage pin-up? It had to be Rebecca DeMornay in an early Tom Cruise film, Risky Business.
My colleagues won't know this about me but... My holidays in South America have been more about unplanned adventures than holidays meeting interesting people, including someone who had led two military coups in Argentina, another who led the Argentinian Special Forces in the Falklands War, and also buying some land where my next door neighbour is the real man in black - Tommy Lee Jones - all because I have a passion for playing polo.
What is your favourite snack? It was crisps and chocolate until gluten intolerance kicked in!
What has been your career high point to date? There have been so many it is hard to decide or remember, but it's always great to see people grow and progress their careers at DTP.
Has 2013 been good, bad or ugly? A great year for DTP: 36 per cent revenue growth, some significant investments, and some really interesting IP created - especially around the HP Autonomy focused subsidiary we set up in 2012, big data and analytics - oh yes!
What do you say when asked at a party what you do for a living? I am a typical self-deprecating Yorkshireman so it is usually that I work in IT. In younger years it was that I was an international playboy, but I'm now a little too frazzled around the edges to pull that one off any more.
If I wasn't working in the channel I would probably be... playing polo and training polo ponies.
What will be the channel's biggest challenge in 2014? Moving away from selling product. Yes, product is an important part of the overall solution, but you have to develop the skills and resources to build and demonstrate to the client the business case for transformation using IT as the lever. Real RoI is where it's going to be at in 2014.
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