Until January 2006, I was the European Sales, Marketing and Services Director at Samsung Business Communications. In this role I managed geographically dispersed operations in the UK and Europe. During my time at Samsung I revolutionised the UK operation whilst delivering significant sales growth throughout the European Union.
Prior to Samsung, I was the Global SME Product Director at Avaya Inc. (previously Lucent Technologies Inc.) responsible for Global SME products. During my time I lead the team responsible for the launch of IP Office globally, which went on to become the lead product for Avaya in SME space.
I am a business graduate from University of Leicester (UK), with a number of post-graduate credits. I was a member of Institute of Directors (IoD) whilst living in the UK and act as a ‘Wise Owl’ to a number of companies in a non-executive capacity.
At Cognisant Hosting we help small and medium sized (SME) to succeed by identifying opportunities and extract maximum return on investment from their Web Marketing and Web Presence efforts. We offer Web Design, Development, Hotel Booking System, SEO, and Web Presence Management including Social Media Management.
Through Cognisant Associates, we provide consulting services in Marketing, Business, and Acquisitions. We help identify acquisition targets as well as help companies entre new markets. We also help SME's improve their internal processes, product development, and time to market.
What do you like most about your profession?
I love marketing and technology because you never stop learning. There is always something new to learn, experiment and excel at. Both sectors exposes a person to a wide range of age groups so I can learn and share with young and old. There is no other sector that allows a person to be judged on merits alone regardless of age, race, or gender.
What questions do clients most commonly ask you? How do you respond?
How do I deal with ever-changing technology and market we operate within? To my mind nothing has really changed except the pace and means of communication. New channels of communications (Internet, Social Media, etc.) have changed the interaction medium but have not changed the principals of marketing. We still have to have a product or service that is fit for purpose with USP. We cannot survive nor could we have done before by being “me too”. First we need to find “The 1 thing” and then communicate it effectively. So principal of marketing in terms of Product, Price, Promotion, Place, People have not changed. The changes are greater means of “Promotions” and more “Places” to sell our product and services.
What are 3 attributes you need to be successful in your industry?
Open to New Ideas – Changing technology and new channels of communications means we have to learn new skills and understand new concepts. However we need to be discerning and not get carried away with fads. Understand Context – Every business and market is different. I learned this from my previous jobs looking after teams in more than 30 countries. What works in the UK or US, will not work in France or Spain. You cannot ignore cultures and norms, so must adapt your approach. Integrity – Someone rightly said “You cannot buy, teach, or learn Integrity”. How right they were. When dealing with clients that find your industry confusing and in some ways “a black art”, you can approach your business in 2 different ways. You can take advantage of people's lack of knowledge and extract eye watering fees from them, or you can be honest and give them the best advice and solution which might not be the one that makes you the most money. We have had clients who have stayed with us from our very start of our business. 90% of our new business comes from referral and 99.9% of our clients renew their contract. Some of our clients do not even ask us for a quotation and just give us their budget, knowing that we will not take advantage of this and deliver them the best value for their budget. We are mighty proud of that.
Owner at Cognisant Hosting
February 2009 - Present
In February 2009 we launched Cognisant Hosting, a subsidiary of Cognisant Associates. We offer a range of Web Design services as well as Value-Added Hosting Solutions including Managed Hosting for SME and Large Enterprises, Website Design, Website Consulting and full services for complete Web Presence Management.
Our Web Design services include designing websites in WordPress, Joomla, and HTML5 for SME and Enterprise customers. We offer Hospitality Solutions including online booking system, a range of E-Commerce Solutions, as well as Websites for variety of business sectors.
Our Managed Hosting Services is ideal for outsourcing your website and related support functions, allowing you to focus your resources on your core activities. We will manage your website updates, analyse traffic, suggest ways of improving and act on your instructions within agreed SLA.
At Cognisant Hosting “We Make the Web Simple”!
Co-Owner at Cortijo Valverde
July 2006 - October 2015
In July 2006 my wife and I bought a small country hotel in Andalucia, Spain and sold the business at the end of November 2015. This ws a unique holiday place set amongst Olive and Almond groves, with magnificent views of the Mijas Mountain, 30 minutes drive to Ardales lakes, El Chorro Gorge, and El Torcal National Park.
Years of hard work was rewarded by winning many Awards including:
- TripAdvisor 'Travellers Choice 2014'
- TripAdvisor 'Travellers Choice 2013'
- TripAdvisor 'Travellers Choice 2012'
- TripAdvisor Award of Excellence 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
- No. 1 Country Hotel in Malaga Province in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
- No. 1 Holiday Destination in Malaga in 2008
- No. 1 Country Hotel in Costa-del-Sol in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
- No. 1 Hotel for Culture and Arts Aficionados Málaga province in 2008
Owner at Cognisant Associates
May 2006 - Present
We focus on three areas Business Grooming, Marketing Consulting and Web Presence Management.
Marketing - We provide support and advice for SMEs to succeed in the ever changing world of marketing. We create marketing plans that would get the best out of limited marketing budgets and get the best exposure across all marketing channels including Web Presence, Social Media, Traditional outlets, and Effective Communications.
Business Finder Spain - We find out the hidden story behind the sales of any business. We help buyers to determine and avoid the pitfalls associated with buying businesses in Spain such as legal status, business performance, operating licences, and legal compliance.
Business Consulting - We help small and medium sized (SME) to succeed by identifying opportunities to reduce costs, find efficiencies, focus on profitable sectors, and direct their resources to activities that maximise their return on investment. We look for acquisition, merger, or sale opportunity to enhance shareholder value and secure the future of your company.
Sales, Marketing and Services Director - Western Europe at Samsung
March 2003 - July 2006
- Sales, Marketing and Service Delivery to all Samsung Business Communication (SBC) Channels within Western Europe.
- Accountable for the Business Unit's P&L.
- Leading a team of 30 covering diverse functions including Technical, Sales and Marketing Teams.
- Control and manage Product Life Cycle Management, Pricing, and all marketing activities from cradle to grave.
- Creating and developing core marketing messages.
Director of Global SME Offers at Avaya Inc.
September 1998 - February 2003
- Responsible for leading the SME teams in EMEA with full accountability for sector's P&L, together with coordination of Marketing teams, Sales, Support Services and Operations.
- Responsible for liaison with and coordination of operations teams including contracts, supply chain, logistics, reveres logistics, Order Processing and processes to support the business across EMEA.
- Matrix managing and co-ordinating EMEA team's activities with In-Country teams including Sales Team, Marketing, Support Services, Operations and Product Management.
Proficiency: Limited Working Proficiency
Proficiency: Limited Working Proficiency
English - British
Proficiency: Native or Bilingual Proficiency
Avenida del Esparragal
Málaga Area Spain
Phone: +34 951 773 481