Today, I’m sat with Mr Brett Parry from Riskmonitor as he’s very kindly agreed to do an Up Close & Personal interview for the Renegade Magazine. Good morning Brett.
BP: Morning Andy.
AS: How are you doing?
BP: Very Good.
AS: I’ve got some really nice questions for you to answer for me today . . . So, who’s Brett Parry?
BP: Brett Parry is a 36-year-old man from the South Wales Valleys, that left school with absolutely nothing. Went out into the big bad world for the first couple of years and got himself into a couple of dead-end jobs. I was then given the opportunity by my father to work within the family business in terms of man guarding.
AS: So, man guarding is?
BP: Security guarding, security in retail stores. To cut a long story short, I spent the next 10 years working my way through the business and took it from a half a million pound to a 2.5-million-pound turnover, with the help of the team as well.
AS: At the age of?
BP: I started there when I was 19, so it took me about 7 years.
AS: So, by the age of 26 you took a half million-pound business to 2.5 million?
BP: Yea, with the team . . . Some of that may have been luck but we were doing quite well. I learnt a hell of a lot, and I always talk about my degree in life because I’m not well educated, but I am in life. I picked so much up from that part of my life. I was dealing with a lot of high-profile retailers, like the Arcadia Group and M&S and when you’re rubbing shoulders with the hired senior management of these retailers you do pick up a lot. I was thrown in the at deep end, but it put me in good stead for where I am today. Unfortunately, the business came across the second recession and it hit us really hard and we made the decision to put the business through, because it just wasn’t financially viable anymore for the business or on a personal level. I then found myself coming into the Riskmonitor Holdings Group. I set a business up in terms of Sovereign Connect, a shared office space and was then transferred out of that into Riskmonitor, where I’m now heading up the business development side of things and we’ve got some big plans for this year.
AS: Looking forward to seeing what you’re going to do with this one, if you did a 2-million-pound increase at the age of 26, with another 10 years’ experience under your belt as well. . .
BP: I think some of that was luck mind, but in terms of Riskmonitor, where we are, I would say we’re looking to put another 50% increase on last year’s turnover, which we’re on target for after the first quarter. So, fingers crossed. It’ll be a lot of hard work but we’re going in the right direction.
AS: Good for you mate. So, have you got any kids Brett?
BP: Yes, I’ve got a son.
AS: How old is he?
BP: He’s 13, he’ll be 14 in August.
AS: What’s his name?
AS: Jac Parry, that’s got a good ring to it. It sounds like he’s going to be street smart as well.
BP: He is, and do you know what, he’s being brought up in the same area as myself and you’ve got to be. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 1 | R e n e g a d e s 2 3
Looking back now it was the best thing I ever done. I kind of pushed him into it from a young age and I can slowly but surely, whether it’s a good or a bad thing, see him turning into me. It’s got its pros and its cons but he’s going in the right direction. He’s a little bit smarter than I am, he’s more academic because his mother’s a teacher, so I’m hoping if he can have a bit of both of us, then he won’t go far wrong.
AS: Good mix. Excellent! So, you never know he might beat your record of 2 million at the age of 26. That would be great wouldn’t it because we all want our children to do better than we did. That’s the goal.
BP: Exactly mate. He needs to be able to look after me.
AS: So, what’s inspired you to get involved with Riskmonitor at the level that you have?
BP: I’ll be totally honest with you, when I was given the opportunity to work within the group I was battered and bruised from putting the business through, as you can probably appreciate. When you’ve put so much time and effort into something and there’s nothing more that you can do, and the business fails, it takes the wind out of your sails. I was offered an opportunity and told that there were administrative tasks that needed carrying out and I was quite content doing that, so I plodded along doing bits and pieces, didn’t want any pressure. I just wanted a basic 8 til 4 or 9 til 5, go home and do my own thing. And I think what happened, once you’ve got that hunger and desire to be somebody, it never goes away. It might filter off slightly or shy away, but it’ll always come back to the surface, and it did. I don’t know if it was timing again, but they wanted to spice things up in terms of Riskmonitor because it’s been trading a lot longer than I’ve been part of them. They’ve been going 18 or 19 years, they’re very successful and they’re floating along nicely but I think they wanted to give it that extra push. So, when the opportunity came, I was initially a little taken back because, I didn’t doubt myself but when you’ve not been in that environment for so long you kind of question yourself. . . One, do you really want to do it, and two, can you do it?
AS: So, to clarify, you started off at Sovereign Connect?
AS: So, you were basically raising a company in its infancy, which is a shared office space, is that right?
BP: I worked with Riskmonitor initially because there was a venture that they wanted to go down in terms of business support services in HR and Health & Safety in which I was doing a little bit of admin work for that and trying to push it. That fell flat on its face because things took priority. Then they came to me with an idea of opening a shared office space facility in the area because there was nothing about. They asked my opinion and because I like a challenge, I thought I wouldn’t mind getting my teeth into that. So, we came up with a budget and a business plan and I executed the plan. I was given 12 months on a decent budget, but we had to get it right. So, we launched the business and it was fine, it was up and running and getting customers through the door. It’s the same as any business, it’s not going to hit the sky within the first 12 months. Things were progressing but unfortunately the same thing happened with that, other things took priority. We looked at it and thought, do you know what, we haven’t lost any money out of it but where Sovereign Connect was located, we were just running out of space. We just didn’t have the space we needed, so they made the decision to knock it on the head so to speak but I was told not to worry as they had an idea for me.
AS: Do you feel like you’ve been groomed Brett?
BP: A little bit yea. . . .
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