Business Forum - 8 October 2013

The Autumn Business Forum was privileged to host a panel of 3 extraordinary speakers, all highly successful entrepreneurs. Each had built a business in a different sector, across different eras. Malcolm Bell, whose business Zaggora sold slimming hotpants, had been an enormous success in the age of the internet and social media. This was an asset light business with quick growth start-up. Harry Clarke of Cobalt Telephone Technologies had recently sold his mobile payments business, and David Higgins had built his recruitment firm Harvey Nash in the 1980s and 1990s, growing through infrastructure heavy, slow and traditional international office expansion. This was truly a diverse range of experiences from the entrepreneurial landscape. The common ground? All immensely driven people who were highly motivated and focused to succeed. 

The panel gave an entertaining 'round the coffee table' style discussion of their personal business experiences before opening the floor to questions. 

The attendance of approaching 100 was outstanding and the largest ever achieved for such an event. High audience participation and the length of the Q&A session suggested that everyone had been inspired by their tales of international business success. The highlight of the evening was the young OR who asked the last question of the night, which was, “Should he stay at University and finish his studies or start a business now?” Two of the Panel said, “Stay and get a degree”, whilst the third member said “Start now!” Who is right, that is the question? 

Adrian Fox (M 75-79)