The ultimate family-business success story, Addison Lee is London’s leading mini-cab provider. Set up in 1975 by John Griffin and Lenny Foster, the next generation of both families is now in the business, with every expectation that the third will follow. “The Griffins and the Fosters get on unbelievably well, as do the rest of our family,” says MD Liam Griffin. “It’s a cliché but the people here make it very successful.” Liam has been MD for five years, the last four of which have seen sales rise from £24m to £72m, but says: “It would be outrageous of me to say there was any connection whatsoever!” An emphasis on GPS technology and an advanced auto-allocator dispatch system have made the company a slick operator. Add-on measures such as the text sent by drivers when on their way with the registration number of their car, have also proved to be customer winners. Four acquisitions have helped boost growth, and Addison Lee is now the biggest operator in London “by some margin”, says Griffin. Sales this year have increased to £83m but the next couple of years will be about market share rather than sales, according to Griffin.
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