Naval reserves officer brews up new business

Naval reserves officer brews up new business

Royal Navy Reserves officer Neel Singh has added ‘entrepreneur’ to his long list of personal accomplishments, as he becomes the owner of an award winning brewery.

Neel, 35, has taken on Dorking Brewery, a producer of craft beers based in the heart of the Mole Valley in Surrey.

With ten years of service under his belt, and operational tours that included helping to rescue migrants from the Mediterranean on board HMS Bulwark, Neel had previously worked as an account manager for Philips in Guildford before deciding it was time for a career change.

The Leatherhead-resident is one of six hundred new businessmen and women that have been supported into enterprise by a specialist planning and advisory service.

Since its launch in July 2013, social enterprise X-Forces has nurtured and guided entrepreneurial reservists and service-leavers, facilitating more than £6m in seed funding, as an official partner of the government’s Start Up Loans Company.

Neel said “I have always thought that I would like to own my own business and I enjoyed Dorking Brewery's product so I knew I had to grab the opportunity. With X-Forces’ help, I was able to act fast and tackle the mountain of paperwork involved. 

"The brewery will continue to build on its solid roots.  We have just won a large tender with Punch Taverns for their summer festival which means that our beer will be featured in more than a thousand of their pubs for twelve weeks.  And our beer in a box service is very popular with the public, which we deliver for free all over Surrey."

CEO and Founder of X-Forces, Ren Kapur, said: “We are delighted to be helping more and more of the capable and hard-working members of our Armed Forces Reservists, who are using self-employment as a flexible opinion to allow greater service commitment.   

“Armed Forces entrepreneurs display a strong approach to business, with focus and drive that is seldom seen. This new generation are already contributing to the UK economy, providing employment and making opportunities, and we are very proud of the framework we’ve built to support them.”