What does your role include?
As managing director my role is quite varied. I always try to constructively challenge my colleagues and help shape the general development of all areas of the business.
As What A Melon is such a new brand for us I'm spending a lot of time on its marketing, making sure the brand is presented and evolves in the right way.
I also commit a fair amount of time to R&D which includes the What A Melon range expansion and our future soft drinks NPD.
I also act as a public spokesperson and ambassador for the business.
What is it the company does?
Solution Sciences is an independent, British soft drinks company specialising in modern day health and hydration drinks.
As a business, our mission is to create drinks that both improve consumer’s health and also do society some good.
We’re also incredibly proud to be the first soft drinks company in Europe to be awarded ‘Benefit Corporation’ status.
A ‘B Corp’ is a for-profit business that has social and environmental outcomes as part of its mission.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I dropped-out of university to set-up our first health drink Alibi back in 2006. This was launched at the end of 2007.
Previously I had launched various businesses including an electric sports equipment importation business (selling goods from China) and a student hospitality loyalty membership card.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
Vision - to see where the big opportunity is and guide the business and team towards achieving it.
Passion - to get the team and customers excited about the business and vision.
Guidance - to find the right path to success and keep the business & team moving forward whilst overcoming any obstacles that may get in the way.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
My workload is always quite daunting and my biggest (and constant daily) challenge is around focus and prioritising the key tasks that need to be completed.
Each morning I list everything that needs to be done and then tackle tasks in the order that adds most value to the business.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I love to cook and my wife and I take our French Bulldog, Herbert, out for long walks around London's parks and the surrounding countryside.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was younger I wanted to join the SAS! I was drawn towards the excitement and adventure of their work.
I have always enjoyed earning my own money and running my own businesses/projects and from the age of around 14 I knew I wanted to work for myself.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?
The fact many people still only correlate success with time spent behind a desk. I would rather a team member worked shorter hours, but that time was very productive and efficient, vs sitting at a desk procrastinating.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
With What A Melon we are very ambitious and aim to have our product sitting on shelf next to Vita Coco coconut water in every outlet that they are sold in within the next five years. Our 3rd year sales turnover target is £12m.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Build a solid, trustworthy and experienced advisory team around you to give you the support and confidence when making important business decisions.
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