What do you currently do?
I am the CEO of European Electronique – a successful technology company with over twenty years’ experience in delivering ICT solutions and with a reputation for innovation. Currently, the company employs approximately 160 people and in March 2014 we reported a £58m turnover.
Working in partnership with globally recognised manufacturers, we have developed the skills to integrate complex ICT solutions through consultancy, design, implementation, project management and support services.
What is your inspiration in business?
A lot of our business derives from the public sector, including schools and academies. I am inspired by how passionate these organisations are and am driven in my belief that all children are given the tools to achieve their full potential and to explore the endless possibilities that technological innovation can bring.
Who do you admire?
Being a woman everyone will expect me to choose a female and so as not to disappoint, I have chosen Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett-Packard! Having met her, I found her to be a very charismatic and interesting person for a number of reasons. She was CEO of eBay and during her 10 year tenure oversaw its expansion from 30 employees and $4million in annual revenue to more than 15,000 employees and $8billion in turnover. One could argue that with the explosion of the internet this would have happened in any event, but I believe that with her at the helm, she took it to another level. I admire the fact that she has achieved all this combined with being a mother of two and more recently stepping into the complex US political arena.
She took up the position as HP’s CEO in September 2011, renewing HP’s focus on Research and Development and recommitting to the firm’s PC business, which previous owners were thinking of discarding. She set up a restructuring plan in May 2012, which has halted revenue decline and raised the company’s stock by approximately 20 per cent.
Looking back would you have done things differently?
I never regret anything; you can’t change the past so best to learn from it and move forward. I am a very positive person with a ‘glass is always half full’ mentality and believe things happen for a reason. Therefore, what might be deemed a ‘regret’ today could be your raison d’être tomorrow.
What defines your way of doing business?
Being pro-active and involved in business decisions on a daily basis and having a clear understanding of customers’ needs enables me to make a difference. There is no better feeling than knowing that you have brought a solution to a problem and recognising that not “one size fits all” is paramount. Customers are as unique as individuals and you have to be innovative and visionary and your approach has to address their bespoke needs.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Know what you want. Opportunities are there and as long as you have ambition, drive and determination, nothing is impossible.