What do you currently do?
I am CEO of the Southerns Group, which comprises six businesses. The Group is the UK’s leading FF&E and workspace interiors specialist and includes Southerns Office Interiors Limited located in Leeds and Bolton, Broadstock Office Furniture Limited in Macclesfield, and Ralph Capper Interiors Limited and SpaceInvader, both located in Manchester.
What is the inspiration behind the business?
Best in class: being the best at what we do is our inspiration. We’re driven by the desire to ensure we present our customers with unique propositions that will exceed their expectations. Part of that requires our communicating our vision and values to our staff, making sure they understand both fully, which in turn enables that vision and our values to be passed down to our clients.
Who do you admire?
From a personal perspective I admire my close friend and mentor Steve Parkin. In terms of global personalities I have a great deal of respect for Bill Gates and Richard Branson who are both thought provoking and go-getting in their approach to business and life in general.
Looking back is there anything you would you have done differently?
Nothing at all. If anything I think that any wrong turns I may have taken have helped me to grow personally and fine tune my business skills. I often refer to “life’s rich tapestry” – everything that happens in life is part of it.
What defines your way of doing business?
Integrity, honesty and loyalty in our dealings with our customers, partners and employees: they are what sets us apart.
What advice would you give someone starting out?
Be professional at all times, and enjoy what you do.