Steve joined the team as MD after a brief period of consulting for the company. He brings 25 years cross-sector business management experience. His customer service background has a five-star pedigree; he has a proven track record in innovating IT for efficiency and profit gains. Steve has managed multi-lingual teams on several occasions and is a sharp talent spotter. He has successfully managed high profile and sensitive projects for listed companies and government.
His early training in the hospitality industry gave him his strong customer service focus, initially at Cliveden, working under Lord Thurso (who was recently part of the team renovating the UK’s Houses of Parliament). Steve later moved to the Pizza Hut chain and developed his branded, high volume trading skills.
He became an award winning manager for the group after he taught himself an early version of Excel and created a suite of linked spreadsheets. Long before ‘big data’, Steve was able to analyse the relationships between sales forecasting, payroll, scheduling, stock control and ordering. It was a revolutionary step that increased the productivity of the unit.
His weekly management reporting burden was reduced from nine hours to just over 90 minutes. Now common place in organisations world-wide, it demonstrates how Steve was an innovate forward-thinker from the start.
Seeing an opportunity to capitalise on his business management capabilities, he moved to Eastern Europe shortly after the collapse of communism and before EU enlargement. Once again, seeing opportunity way ahead of the pack.
With no knowledge of the language, he formed a close team from scratch and set about designing a multi-lingual, web-based platform (long before Google coined the phrase ‘cloud computing’, in 2006). The system would facilitate free movement of labour within the Public Transport Industry.
He brought together FTSE employers, trade unions and government labour departments from across Europe. The resulting integrated solution won numerous awards and significantly increased share prices. He went on to become a keynote speaker across Europe and was asked to author a briefing paper for Downing Street.
Steve later partnered with a German banker to create a holiday property booking engine – an early AirBnB concept.
Following a flight delay, Steve researched an idea for a solution – he formed a team to create a helicopter shuttle service. Going head-to-head with the local legacy carrier, working around refuelling monopolies and finding a solution to the need for a physical airport (his design was launched at the 2009 Dubai Air Show), the project quickly gained interest. And then the oil price surged – a major cost in aviation. Carriers started adding fuel surcharges to tickets but the cost to Steve was seeing his investors walk at the eleventh hour.
A return to his native UK and a brief role in the civil service followed. Steve was seconded in to an audit team and was asked to build a system for tracking benefit appeals using only ‘what software was available’. He also devised an intranet worksheet to help prevent an estimated £52m/year miscalculation in benefits. After the latter was dismissed as being a threat to the unions as it ‘computerised peoples’ jobs’. Steve felt his ability was better utilised elsewhere.
Steve has enjoyed charity work in and around his community. He’s advised on community websites, accounting and payroll solutions, charity online banking and general IT issues. For two years, he devised and taught a very popular ‘Silver Surfers’ group for the over 60s on how to use their devices and stay safe online.