Can you describe Red River to someone who may not be familiar with the company?
Red River is a software development company that works with high growth businesses, start-ups, investors and generally with organisations undergoing rapid change. We develop systems and products that run businesses or deliver our customer’s services. We are a unique blend of technical excellence, business acumen and creativity, that helps us thrive in this high speed environment.
Why did you decide to enter the GDB awards?
We founded Red River nine years ago and have grown to be an influence in the region. The area has an identity and culture that is different to London and Brighton; both of which are recognised digital hubs. I realised that businesses in the Gatwick Diamond, especially those who have experienced recruitment issues and a skills shortage, are part of an interdependent community that we all need to nurture and promote. I have worked hard in the last few years to do my bit to grow the economy, help business initiatives and work with schools, colleges and universities to ultimately to keep people in this region and within the business community. A large part of the work we do is for overseas customers and we feel this has helped with inward investment into the region too.
Entering the awards was just a continuation of this. I felt I had a story to tell and experiences to share.
What do you think made your entry stand out to the judges?
Growing your own business is normal and not headline news. We have done that year on year, especially in the last 24 months, but I believe that there were a number of things that made a difference. We changed the structure of the company to create a more democratic approach that would stimulate growth and facilitate autonomy and learning, this has worked really well. The engagement with the universities and colleges to help generate a local talent pool and the work I do with educational and youth organisations such as Maggie Philbin’s TeenTech.
I have loved working with investors and start-ups over the last few years and helped to create a number of innovative companies. I have enjoyed talking at events across the region and have been an advisor on many business and educational initiatives. I believe my business partner Kieren and I have created a unique and incredibly supportive environment that has developed leaders and innovators and has attracted customers, business partners and staff.
What impact has winning the Businessperson of the Year award had on the company?
Personally it has been just a great boost and for the business it has bought a mass of publicity and interest. It was great to receive the affirmations from partners and customers on the night and the weeks following. It has been evident that the award has helped in meetings we have had and the business we have won.
What does the future hold for Red River?
We have plans for the next three years for growth, expansion and expansion of our services. The last six months have presented a number of partnership opportunities that we are in the process of embarking on. Personally, I would like to continue help grow the region’s economy, promoting the Gatwick Diamond outside of the area and also to help generate the next wave of software professionals.