Richard Blanford

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Managing director, Fordway

What achievement are you most proud of?

Apart from staying married to my wife and providing minimal assistance in helping my children to become the great people they are, founding and guiding Fordway to its current success while retaining our collective sanity, purpose and most of my hair over the past 24 years.

What has been the biggest change in the channel since you started working in it?

The technology we use to meet customer requirements.

What three things could you not live without?

Open spaces, fresh air and regular exercise to allow me thinking time and to put things into perspective.

What has been your most embarrassing moment so far?

Many years ago sitting in front of the CIO and most of his team of a major corporation and telling him how to do his job – with a predictable response – ranks pretty high. Oddly, they did become and are still a valued client, albeit with a new CIO. Also, frequently forgetting how songs start, and where the stops and changes are, when playing drums with my band at live gigs most weekends.

What do your family think you do all day?

When he was younger my son was convinced I played computer games all day.

Who is your ultimate celeb crush?

I rather fancy a night out with Cameron Diaz. Failing that, dinner with Amy Williams (skeleton bob gold medallist) or Rachel Riley from Countdown could be entertaining.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Taking time away from my family to do motorbike track days on UK and European race tracks each year.

What would be your first act if you were made Prime Minister?

Try to stop the spin and associated media frenzy with sensationalist reporting around politics. Then engage the public in a truthful and meaningful dialogue to ensure we confront a few home truths around our ageing population and ability to fund the NHS and social care – and then put in place realistic and affordable long-term answers to them. I don’t agree with all his policies but first impressions of Jeremy Corbyn’s approach are refreshing.

Has 2015 been a good, bad or ugly year?

A blinder for Fordway as our most successful financial year ever; personally quite crap as my mum died suddenly and unexpectedly in April.

If you didn’t work in the IT channel, what would you do?

Between leaving school with minimal qualifications at 17, and 27 when I founded Fordway, I had 17 jobs, many while travelling abroad, and was sacked from most of them. I haven’t a clue but I hope I would have found it by now.

What major issues will the channel face in 2016?

Being relevant to our customers and providing real answers to customer issues rather than just trying to sell them more stuff.

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