Meet the MD: Alastair Scott of 2020 Productions

Meet the MD: Alastair Scott of 2020 Productions

After travelling the world, Alastair Scott and his business partner decided to start their own business, and now Alastair is the MD of 2020 productions, a Scottish company with offices in the USA and the Middle East. He caught up with BQ to tell us about his journey so far and where the company can go from here...

Describe your role in no more than 100 words.

I manage the European office where we have a team of creatives, event producers, filmmakers, editors, animators, designers, digital and mobile developers and presentation experts. I play a large role in the development of our Middle Eastern office, and a lesser role in our San Francisco base that is managed by co-founder Andy MacKay.


What is it the company does?

We mainly work with business communications – designing and delivering internal communications for stakeholders, colleagues and customers. 


Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

I began working in the theatre and gained experience in working in many fields – from repertory theatre to opera, and cabaret to live music shows.  I worked as a freelance producer and was lucky enough to travel the world working with global brands for mainly London production companies.  In the late 80’s my friend and I thought “we could do better than this” and in 1990 2020 Productions was born. 


What do you believe makes a great leader?

Someone who listens, someone who can treat people as individuals with different needs, and someone who can step back and see the big picture.


What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

My biggest challenge is trying to switch off.  It’s very easy to get dragged into thinking about work all the time, but it’s important to have personal and family time too.


How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

A variety of things, from cycling, wine, gardening, family, running, motorcycling, music, beer, cinema, children, travel, fishing, skiing … but not necessarily in that order.


When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An actor.  But my time working with actors in my early career in the theatre made me realise I could never have made a success of this – you have to be very thick skinned to do this for a living – I am not.  When I was 10 I built a puppet theatre and regularly put on shows for friends and parents – perhaps that was a sign of things to come?


Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?

I have loads of them – from people eating at their desks to not answering the phone properly – and a few more! But I believe this approach to the smaller details has resulted in the smooth running of a successful business with dedicated, professional staff.   


Where do you see the company in five years time?

There will have been another recession within this period – this just follows the cyclical nature of these things.  We are prepared for this.  I would hope that we have secured 3 or 4 global projects, which all 3 of our offices will be working on.  Our business in the USA and UK will increase locally and we would support the further growth in the MENA region.


What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

I would say be patient – lots of people go for the quick buck – this is not generally a good idea if you want to build a sustainable and community aware organisation.   It is also important to set your ducks out neatly at the very beginning – and have a vision of what type of businessperson you want to be, and what your personal values are.