Matthew Riley

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Matthew Riley

Chairman, Daisy

What was your dream career as a child?

It absolutely has to be astronaut. The concept of space fascinated me from an early age and as a child the thought of exploring new worlds was captivating. Even today, space is regularly in my dreams and fuels my ambition to push boundaries.

What has been your personal highlight of 2019?

Although it has not yet happened, my personal highlight of 2019 is looking forward to the pending marriage of my daughter in December. The opportunity to gather the family together and celebrate the wedding at an already special time of year is an absolute joy.

Which famous person deserves a (gentle) slap?

That would have to be David Cameron! The reason, for getting us into this Brexit mess. An ill-thought-out strategy and poorly executed plan has seen the country lurch from one embarrassing situation to another and leaves us in real danger of becoming second-class citizens among Europe's leading countries.

What two things (apart from family) would you grab if your house was on fire?

One would definitely have to be my iPhone, without which I am literally lost! The reliance we place on mobile technology today and the information stored on our devices makes them simply indispensable. The second would be my backgammon board, a source of rest and mental relaxation away from the rigours of the business day.

Which of your 2019 predictions have come to pass?

It is always easy to say ‘I told you so', but when it comes to the turmoil that we are in as a result of the Brexit mismanagement, I told you so! The writing was on the wall from the early days and I could see the political posturing culminating in confusion and indecision.

What TV show have you binge watched this year?

That is easy - Peaky Blinders! The blend of fiction based around actual historical events made this compelling viewing for me. There is so much American television on our screens that when a brilliantly made British drama is created it emphasises the talent within this country.

How has 2019 been from a business perspective?

2019 has been a great one for Daisy with lots of change, evolution and new opportunity. We performed an internal restructure earlier in the year to give greater autonomy to our individual business units and are already seeing the results of this in terms of increased pipeline, revenue growth and better customer engagement. Having absolute focus on individual parts of the business as opposed to attempting to combine disparate areas has certainly proven to be the right thing to have done.

What annoys you most about your commute?

Losing mobile signal has to be the single most annoying thing about any commute. In this day and age with the technology and innovation available to us, not being able to conduct a continuous conversation when on the move is simply inexcusable.

If you could witness one past event, what would it be?

This would have to be the release from prison of Nelson Mandela on Sunday 11 February 1990. After having served 27 years in incarceration, he then rose to become the first black President of South Africa. Mandela dedicated his life to philanthropy and the fight against apartheid and acts as an inspiration to us all with his determination and single-mindedness.

How do you explain the channel to people?

The channel is an amazingly diverse place to operate in. There are so many different types of businesses occupying it, ranging from large organisations, the size of Daisy, to small owner-operated businesses that rely on us to keep them competitive and deliver our services to their customers. But regardless, the channel is a dynamic, vibrant place to be where the mission is to provide customers with the full suite of telco products, wrapped in an incomparable service model and to help manage their business through change and technology evolution.

What have been your favourite and least favourite partner conference destinations?

I am not really able to answer this, as with presiding over the changes to take Daisy to the next level I have simply not had the time to attend any! But over the years I have been to so many amazing venues - my favourites are always ones where I see Daisy represented and shining!

What is the biggest challenge facing the channel in 2020?

Back to Brexit, political uncertainty around the world and business confidence. While the majority of us focus our business efforts here in the UK, the knock-on effect from customers who trade and have their supply chain in Europe is undoubtedly impacting upon UK business confidence as they await confirmation of contracts being renewed and purchase decisions being wide. Further afield, political and civil unrest can also create a challenge for channel partners with customers trading overseas.

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