Role and company:
Chairman and co-founder of Next Generation Data Ltd
Company turnover (and most recent ebitda/most relevant profitability metric):
2012 T/O = £6.4m EBITDA
2113 T/O = £8m
Growth forecast for the next three years:
25 per cent year on year is a conservative growth target.
In under 50 words, what makes your business distinctive in its marketplace:
NGD is Europe’s largest data centre development. Situated in South Wales NGD offers vast power, connectivity and space for customers to build exactly what they require. NGD is a very low risk location with advanced security and has to date attracted some of the world’s biggest corporations.
NGD is recognised in the market as a high quality, low risk location at considerably less cost than inner city data centre offerings.
What’s the big vision for your business?
Continue to grow at a steady rate and float in 2014.
Current level of international business, and future aspirations:
- 2 x USA client;
- 1 x Indian client;
- 1 x Canadian client; and
- 2 – 3 European clients.
To continue to attract large international customers.
Biggest career setback and what you learned from it:
Going into a business with the wrong business partner – I learned never to do it again.
What makes you mad in business today?
The way banks don’t support smaller businesses. Although in our own case RBS have been excellent in their support, I have seen the lack of support for smaller businesses.
What will be the biggest change in your market in the next three years?
Price. Data is becoming more of a commodity and prices for facilities like NGD’s and data services generally is coming down.
Can businesses in your sector/industry access the finance they need to grow? If not, what can be done to improve things?
NGD have managed to raise both equity and debt with relative ease but other companies have failed to get going due to the attitude of the banks.
How would others describe your leadership style?
Strong leader but delegate without difficulty. I realise that to win games you need a good team and a happy team. My style is light hearted but will not shy form tough decisions on anything.
Your biggest personal extravagance?
I have a Jaguar sports car
You’ve got two minutes with the prime minister. Tell him how best to set the UK’s independent, entrepreneurial businesses free to prosper:
I think the UK has always been good at innovation and design. I think there should be a straight forward grant available to get businesses going that is run by former or current business people, not civil servants and red tape. A bit like a big “Dragons’ Den” where experienced business people make decisions on the merits of a project and put the money in at stages.
There are current funding initiatives available but they are very VC orientated and the government grants have so much red tape and take forever. There should be a strong legal contractual undertaking by the company so the system is not abused.