What do you currently do?
I am Chief Executive of The Hospital Saturday Fund, a grant making charity, and its trading company, HSF health plan. The health plan is a low cost form of health insurance giving cash back for the ‘everyday’ health expenses, which face nearly everyone. All of the profits from this are used to make grants to medical charities, hospices and hospitals.
What is your inspiration in business?
Even though each of us is just ‘a drop in the ocean’, charitable donations can still make amazing changes to peoples’ lives and helping people maintain their health and the health of their family can make all the difference. To quote Mother Teresa, “The ocean would be less without that drop”.
Who do you admire?
While, to some extent I admire those whose success has brought them and others a big financial return, I really reserve this admiration for those who have selflessly made a difference to the lives of others.
If I am able to include those no longer with us but who have both left an incredible ‘legacy’ I would choose Leonard Cheshire and Sue Ryder. Amongst the living, I would select social entrepreneur, Andrew Mawson; an incredible story beginning in Bromley-by-Bow, one of the poorest parts of London.
Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
I might have moved faster if I had known in advance that things were going to be so successful but I am sure everyone wishes that!
What defines your way of doing business?
Team involvement is key – I don’t have the monopoly on wisdom. There’s always an open door to my office for all staff and I keep in close communication with them when seeing in new changes. They have the closest contact to the customers and so they have the best handle on things and often the most valuable viewpoint.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
It is really back to the inspiration. If you are only inspired to make money for yourself and /or shareholders, sometimes that isn’t going to be enough in the long run. Personally, the inspiration I have found in helping the lives of others has been incredibly rewarding.