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Richard Barker

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Name: Richard Barker

Age: 64

Company: IT services firm Sovereign Business Integration

Turnover: £8m

First job: My first ever job was doing a delivery round for an off-licence. My first “proper job” was as an optical engineer. 

Dream job: I would love to be a pilot – in the military if possible but a commercial pilot would also suit me if I was given the choice. I have my pilot’s licence and enjoy flying whenever I can.

Car: I currently drive a BMW X5 but my dream car would be a top of the range Aston Martin.

Economy, business or first class: All – it really depends on the distance of the journey and the convenience of it all.

Most extravagant purchase: A Triumph TR6 that I am currently enjoying restoring.

Most played song on iPod: Anything by Westlife! 

Best business book: The Fred Factor by Mark Sandborn – it is a simple and short story but with a strong message. It has inspired the basis upon which Sovereign has been built as a service organisation.

Worst business moment: I was involved in a business once where there were some disagreements with the parent company resulting in an eventual split. However, good came of bad and I was able to walk away with a clear conscience. It was a learning curve which shaped who I am today.

Proudest business moment: Without a doubt, creating Sovereign but particularly our move to our head offices at Metro Point, Cockfosters. The move marked the first real independent set up for our business and saw us based in our own offices, profitable, successful and looking to grow.

Business mentor: Bernard Holmes – he was the CEO of Silcocks Express who I worked with for a number of years. A firm but fair man and a great inspiration.

Next big thing: Data centres. All companies will come to depend on them to store their information.

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