Any other business

General election 2015: CitySprint chief executive Patrick Gallagher – I'm voting as...

6 min read

20 April 2015

Former editor

As the head of a company that works with 3,000 couriers, one of the most important election issues for Patrick Gallagher is fuel duty. He tells us more about what kind of government he'd like.

As part of our ongoing “I’m voting as…” series of features, we’ve been quizzing a wide range of senior business leaders on the most pertinent issues.

Fresh from closing 19 acquisitions over the last term of government, today’s businessman wants more encouragement when it comes to outsourcing.

Who are you and what does your business do?

My name is Patrick Gallagher and I’m the chief executive of CitySprint, the UK’s largest privately-owned same-day distribution company. CitySprint makes deliveries across a range of sectors, including public sector, healthcare and retail. CitySprint Healthcare delivers life saving medicine, urgent blood products, vital organs and other critical medical deliveries. We also provide an overnight service and an international offering.

How has your business changed over the last five years?

I’m proud to say that we’ve expanded considerably, making 19 acquisitions in the last five years. We’ve also extended our retail offering to address the growing consumer demand for convenience. For example, we now offer point-to-point deliveries during a one-hour slot chosen by the customer.

This growth was driven by our hard work and commitment, but made possible by the economic recovery and positive moves by the government to support businesses, such as the freeze in fuel duty.

What are your growth plans for the next five years?

We have big ambitions for the next half-decade. While it’s impossible to predict everything, we’ll be introducing our new consumer offering, On the dot, and continuing to develop the consumer-facing aspect to the business.

We also plan to consolidate our position as Britain’s leading same-day delivery service, and will continue to look for opportunities to grow where it fits with our broader strategy.

Our priority is to continue to adapt our offering to the needs of millennials and others looking to make payments and transactions by mobile device. The CitySprint network is well positioned to support this trend through faster and more convenient delivery. We also consider 3D printing to be a growth area that we can service effectively through our localised delivery network.

I am optimistic about the next five years as a time of change and growth for our company and the wider industry.

What kind of government would you like to see elected?

We need a government that will support the UK’s small businesses that are driving the economic recovery. Where appropriate, this means cutting red tape for SMEs and entrepreneurs and making it easier for them to do business.

We must also share the burden of operating costs by helping to reduce overheads like energy bills and encourage smaller business to collaborate and outsource. The government could also do more to put apprenticeships on par with university education, and ensure that our brightest young people can go straight into the workforce from school without being at a disadvantage.

Read other “I’m voting as…” features:

Do you think government in general is doing enough to support businesses of your size?

Yes – to an extent. While we support the government’s decision to maintain the fuel duty freeze (it’s no coincidence that the period of this freeze has coincided with Britain’s return to economic competitiveness) and welcome the Trailblazers initiative, we need to see more progress in developing apprenticeships if we are to elevate them to the status they enjoy in other European countries like Germany and Switzerland.

Has the impending general election caused any uncertainty regarding how you run your company?

It is business as usual in CitySprint, although we have encouraged all of our employees to raise fuel duty as an important issue on their doorsteps when speaking to party representatives.

In one sentence, please finish this line: “I’m voting as…”

I’m voting as the chief executive of a private business – a proud British citizen who has 3,000 couriers at the centre of my thinking and wants to see our small businesses supported so that they can continue to generate wealth and create jobs.

Read more from our general election coverage:

Do you agree with Patrick Gallagher? Is there anything you’d like to add? Please let us know in the comments box below.