Chief executive, Proximity Communications
Career so far I've been a tree surgeon, worked in construction, telesales, corporate sales, been a sales director and now I'm a chief executive.
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be? My father. He has a fantastic work ethic, has inspired me all my life, is very well respected by many people and has a natural leadership quality that I have rarely seen in many people, but he doesn't realise it. Above all I am curious to understand how he managed to cope with raising a large family during the 1970s when things were much tougher economically than it is today and he never complained once. I think we could all learn something about determination and a will to succeed from his generation.
What will next year's most overhyped industry buzzword be? Recession and downturn. If we want to talk the country into depression we just need to keep saying those words. Interestingly enough it's always a topic when new targets are being set with sales leaders, or budgets are being presented by politicians who haven't run any form of real business.
Has 2012 been a good, bad or ugly year? All three. Proximity continues to grow at an alarming rate which is good. This applies new pressures to the business and pushes some people beyond their boundaries, which can result in them making new career choices, which can be viewed by some as good and bad, and finally having been on a skiing trip at the beginning of this year with Stuart Legg, our sales and marketing director, and sharing a room with him, that was really ugly!
What would you have as your last meal? Depending on the circumstances, if it was a firing squad and they had to wait until I finished I'd have a bottomless ice cream factory. If it was truly my final meal it would be a good, high-quality Indian meal and an ice-cold beer; that would be perfect.
What keeps you awake at night? My excitement at how well Proximity is doing and the future plans we have. It's the enthusiasm to swim against the flow and worrying about our next development that keeps us driven.
What piece of technology could you not be without? My iPhone. It never ceases to amaze me how reliant we have become on the smartphone and I wonder how we ever survived without it. I always smile when I see people out to dinner who can't stop themselves from picking up the phone and checking for any real-time communication.
Have any of your predictions come true this year? Yes, a few, actually. First, Proximity has continued on the successful journey and is set to remain in a strong performing position. Second, I have become greyer, older and slightly more oval.
What is the best partner/customer trip you have ever been on? A skiing trip mentioned earlier where 24 characters shared a villa and everyone was great company. However, my choice of roommate was a major oversight but that's for another time over a beer.
What do you see as the channel's biggest challenge in 2013? For a service organisation like Proximity and our competition, it is keeping the focus of our strategic vendors on providing the best possible solutions they can, focusing them on their core capabilities and strengths instead of moving into the service space where their reseller community adds the value.
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