Meet the MD: Richard Higgs of Brightsolid

Meet the MD: Richard Higgs of Brightsolid

After a career that switched between sales and consultancy, Richard Higgs is now the CEO Of Brightsolid. BQ caught up with him to hear about how his career so far, his plans for the future, and his advice for aspiring business leaders.

Describe your role in no more than 100 words 

It’s my job as CEO to keep the business focused and to define our objectives in an ever-changing world. I try to inspire optimism and a commitment to doing business in a fun, considerate way, whatever the situation. That is my goal.

 

What is it the company does?

We work in partnership with businesses of all sizes to deliver cost saving technology for agile, collaborative ways of working.  Our core business is based around data centres and cloud hosting. We have state of the art facilities in Aberdeen and Dundee, serving clients from across the UK.

We are always looking for ways to innovate in the online world and develop the business for the future. We are looking forward to officially launching our analytics arm, solidinsights, later on in the year, increasing our cloud offering and we’ve even developed online games.

Key to our success are the partnerships we’ve built with our customers and we really enjoy working closely with them to understand their business. This helps us to share knowledge across other industries we serve and take tried and tested solutions that have worked in one to another, just applied in a slightly different way.

 

Where did you start your career?

My first job was with Information Technology Limited, which was a British developer of Unix systems. I started as a software engineer but it was soon spotted that I love to talk and I moved over into sales. Throughout my career I’ve switched back and forth between tech consultancy and sales and I enjoy the challenge of both.

 

What do you believe makes a great leader

In my eyes it is someone who can lead from the front with a long term vision and a willingness to take risks to stay relevant as circumstances change around them. As a leader you must show that you are not fearful and be ready to stand up for your decisions.

 

What has been your biggest challenge in your current position

I commute from London to Dundee every week so that can be a bit of challenge at times but it’s always worth it to see people face to face in the office.

I’m also lucky to have such a great team to help realise ideas. Quite often I get carried away, always looking to the future, with more, new ideas when the existing ones are still in R & D. The brightsolid team help to streamline activity and keep everything on track.

 

How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job

I try to maintain a good work life balance, stay fit and I have a lot of interests outside work. I think it’s important to delegate and try to avoid becoming intensely stressed in the first place. The most effective managers I know are focused on their business plan and their objectives. You need to contain external pressures, avoid deviating from your ultimate goal, and always put customers at the centre of everything you do.

 

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

As a boy I desperately wanted to be a farmer. I loved all the machines and had lots of toy trucks and tractors. Unfortunately reality kicked in when I realised how much it would cost to buy a farm!

 

Any pet hates in the workplace?

As much as I encourage people to be active, I can’t bear to see people doing unusual body movements and stretching in the office after they have overdone it at the gym. This is a particular bugbear in meetings as it shows that people are focused on themselves rather than paying attention to what’s going on around them. The same goes for cracking your knuckles or being glued to your smartphone. And it can be pretty distracting for everyone else too!

 

Where do you see the company in five years’ time?

In five years’ time brightsolid will be a leading digital services company. The IT industry as we know it will be radically transformed over the next few years and will be replaced by digital services instead. Firms will not be buying and deploying IT equipment in the future – everything will be in the cloud instead – so brightsolid will be well-placed for the next wave of technical innovation.

 

What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

Make sure you have experience of the sector you want to serve. I don’t believe you need to have worked in the same industry for decades but you do need to have enough inside knowledge to understand whether or not the market really needs what you want to sell.

Always strive to do the ‘right’ thing in business and stick to your principles.  That is becoming more important than ever and the next generation of business leaders want to make a difference. There is an opportunity to tap into that altruism positively and make others want to be part of your vision.