Managing director, Interactive Ideas
Career so far I spent four years exporting to Nigeria, including spells living there. I was a consultant economist with a Big Four management consultancy followed by 10 years with large US institutional stockbrokers in the City where I held senior positions in sales and marketing. Then 20 years ago I decided to set up Interactive with just a desk and a phone. Thank goodness email wasn't so prevalent then as I built the business based on "smile and dial".
What was your first job and were you any good at it? I sold jewellery at Ratners on Oxford Street for three years while studying for my first degree. I was crap!
Who was your top teenage pin-up? Jimmy Greaves and Jimmy Page. I was doing rock and roll football long before Absolute Radio.
My colleagues won't know this about me but... the first job I was offered was goat club supervisor at an urban farm in Camden Town. The first 30 jobs I applied for after graduating were all social work. Even Nigeria beat working on an urban goat farm.
What is your favourite snack? Large pitted green garlic olives. Don't kiss me after dinner!
What has been your career high point to date? Making a profit in the first year of starting Interactive. You can't beat being in the right place at the right time.
Has 2013 been good, bad or ugly? Every year is a mix. Uncertainty is almost always bad for business. This year has been harder to predict than most on a month by month basis. Big deals seem to take longer to get signoff than they did a couple of years ago, despite improving economic conditions.
I suspect we are close to a very positive tipping point as pipelines are building all the time. Projects aren't being cancelled but people are reluctant to push the button. Businesses can be very sheep like. Once they feel confident the cycle has turned there will be a boom.
What do you say when asked at a party what you do for a living? I buy stuff and sell it for more than I bought it for... mostly.
If I wasn't working in the channel I would probably be... a university lecturer as I love book learning, innit.
What will be the channel's biggest challenge in 2014? Trying to add value in an age of commoditisation.
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