2013 I.O.D Annual Convention - ‘a day of inspiration’
This week I was kindly invited by the good guys at Jaguar Land Rover to be a guest in their box at the annual convention for the Institute of Directors. The venue was the Royal Albert Hall, mostly synonymous with the ‘Last night at the Proms’ events (which I am a fan of by the way). The Albert Hall was the most amazing venue to hold such a prestigious event, with 3000 guests about to be filled with inspiration from some of the most charismatic business leaders in the world. It appeared that the guest speakers where from various business backgrounds, but noticeably, it was lacking a speaker from the automotive industry……maybe next time I shall put myself forward to speak.
Outside the venue, Jaguar had put on a fantastic static display of their range including some of the sports cars that we stock for hire, such as the XKR-S and the new F-Type. Particular interest was reserved for the F-Type in Union Jack livery that recently appeared on the Best of British parade shown on Top Gear.
One of the highlights of the day for me was in fact the very first guest speaker, a certain Mr Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London. With his quick wit, scruffy hair and positive attitude, his speech became more of a stand-up comedy show, thus adding a lot of laughs from the audience including myself. One of the continued points raised by a lot of the speaker’s was the need for the business community to embrace the potential of the Asian market, and how we as brand GB can come together and realise the opportunity, and I for one will be making a considerable effort to increase our online presence in China. This will be helped with a UK government push to try to increase tourism from China as highlighted by the Mayor and the Chancellor, George Osborne, who incidentally has a funny new haircut like Harry Potter.
Google MD – Dan Cobley was another speaker that stood out for me. His explanation of the ethos behind Google, including how they found the best problem solvers, and how they inspire their staff gave me some serious food for thought how we could implement a small pinch of what they do into Première Velocity. Innovation, Disruption – these two words were prevalent in all the speeches today, from relatively new start-ups like Samir Desai of the Funding Circle through to Jack Welch, whom in my eyes is the pinnacle business leader. So with those words in mind, Première Velocity are slowly trying to shake up the prestige car rental industry by getting our brand ‘out there’ through social media and letting people know that we are forward thinking and responsive to our market.
I’m sure that many of these successful business men and women started with an idea in their head and then made it a reality. In fact, this company was developed in my head and everything else since including Hertz Supercars. But we do not wish to rest, our desire to push on is strong. This was compounded by Sir Richard Branson, whom without a shred of education and dyslexia to contend with, has become possibly the UK’s leading entrepreneur. His ideology all came from dreams and ideas, and look at him now, only months away from taking public on flights into space!
All of this, from aspirations to make things happen.
So it is with this George Mallory quote I will leave you with food for thought……..
“People ask me, ‘What is the use of climbing Everest?”
…to which he answers – “Because it’s there”
Stephen Price – Managing Director of Première Velocity
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