Founder and managing director, Academia
What achievement are you most proud of?
Placing in the Sunday Times Tech Track for five years in a row – an unprecedented success.
What has been the biggest change in the channel since you started working in it?
For 12 years margins have consistently reduced and people have claimed that the traditional channel model is dead. Over that same period revenues (based on IT spend) have increased. The net effect is that stale resellers disappear but new or innovative resellers flourish and the net effect is a growing opportunity.
What three things could you not live without?
1. My golf clubs, because I love to play golf and I have yet to achieve my ambition of a single-figure handicap. 2. My dogs, because they are unconditionally loyal, eternally optimistic and never deny their guilt. 3. A sense of humour, because it’s the only way to cope with most challenges in running a business.
What has been your most embarrassing moment so far?
Stating in a management meeting that “we should not over-react to all this talk of cloud”. Note that this was a few years ago now.
What do your family think you do all day?
Sit in meetings, fire people and play golf. Who is your ultimate celeb crush? Julie Roberts, based on Pretty Woman.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Imagining that my last putt on the 18th green is to win the Ryder Cup. And playing Candy Crush when no-one is looking.
What would be your first act if you were made Prime Minister?
I would include personal finance in the school curriculum, increase the motorway speed limit and ban caravans.
Has 2015 been a good, bad or ugly year?
Good. We have better staff and more opportunities than ever before and so the prospects for Academia have never been better.
If you didn’t work in the IT channel, what would you do?
Property developer or lion tamer.
What major issues will the channel face in 2016?
Guess what – margins will be under pressure and customers will demand ever-more from a VAR. But that’s fine for us because it means we will need to rise to those demands and justify the trust our customers place in us.
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