Managing Director of Pacifica Group, Kevin Brown, tells BQ about how he got started in business and what it's like running a company with an eight-figure turnover and almost 500 employees.
What is it the company does?
Pacifica Group is primarily a support services company providing home repair and installation services to the domestic appliance, technology, heating and insulation sectors. We employ over 480 colleagues with the majority being field based engineers who provide our in-home services to a range of clients across the whole of the UK. Additional services include refurbishment of returns and white label extended warranties.
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
I am the group managing director for Pacifica which involves overseeing all aspects of our subsidiaries, Pacifica Appliance Services, Pacifica Home Services and the Warranty division. This includes the execution of the group strategies and monitoring current performance through to our plans for growth and financing requirements.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I got my first job at 14, delivering milk before school. I still remember how it felt to get up at 3 am every morning and work through to 7 am before having breakfast and getting ready for school.
It was at this point that myself and our current FD set up our first company, which would develop through organic growth and acquisition over the years into Pacifica Group as we see today.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
I believe a great leader should be someone who leads by example and is prepared to listen to all stakeholders in order to get the best results. Communicating the vision for the company and engaging staff in the vision and growth plans is essential.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
We have experienced several years of growth and with that brings a number of challenges around financing and cash flow. The support of your banking partners and clients is paramount to enable the business to be successful.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
My main stress relief comes from riding motorbikes - it’s the only time I get where phone and email don’t encroach.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An electrical engineer, which I achieved prior to leaving Northern Electric and setting up Pacifica.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
Office politics tends to be my pet hate; we try very hard to ensure colleagues are kept informed and know the direction of the business, internal politics can become a big distraction so we ensure these barriers are broken down and cannot fester.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
The company will grow to exceed £50m turnover and continue to develop new and innovative services.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
You don’t always have to reinvent business or come up with something new and exclusive, our business offers services that have been available for a long time and we simply try hard to deliver those services better than our competition.
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
Buy shares in Apple!