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The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
The annual entrepreneurship lecture  the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011  1
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The annual entrepreneurship lecture the centre for entrepreneurship, aberdeen business school, rgu april 14th, 2011 1

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RGU Annual Entrepreneurial Lecture 2011 by Murray Strachan

RGU Annual Entrepreneurial Lecture 2011 by Murray Strachan

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  • 1. "Turning Dreams into Reality (with a lot of blood, sweat & tears)!" Murray Strachan - entrepreneur, investor, director and adviser Murray Strachan - entrepreneur, investor, director and adviser Murray Strachan - entrepreneur, investor, director and adviser Murray Strachan - entrepreneur, investor, director and adviser
    • The Annual Entrepreneurship Lecture
    • The Centre for Entrepreneurship, Aberdeen Business School, RGU
    • April 14th, 2011
    • sponsored by Absoft
    www.murraystrachan.co.uk
  • 2. Murray Strachan
    • MD of Strachan & Partners
    • P/T CEO of Albyn Ventures
    • Investor in various companies, many of which he’s chairman or Non Executive Director
    • Vice Chair of Entrepreneurial Exchange & CLAN
    • Honorary Professor at RGU
    • Top 3 finalist Scottish Director of Year 2003
    • SME Deal of Year 2004
    • Runner up Deal of Year 2004
  • 3. What’s entrepreneurship all about? Turning Dreams into Reality! Turning Dreams into Reality!
    • being a bit of a dreamer & envisaging something that others perhaps cannot
    • spotting the (right) opportunity and being brave enough to go for it
    • having the belief and not being scared to think big or stretch yourself
    • having the ambition to build a business of substance and scale
    • being able to communicate the vision and compel others to follow
    • having a plan but being prepared to shape or change it as circumstances dictate
    • execution, execution, execution & delivery of results
    • having the drive and determination to succeed against all odds
    • learning from mistakes
    • choices, sacrifices and a lot of “blood, sweat & tears”
    www.murraystrachan.co.uk
  • 4. It’s not just about attitude & behaviours, or is it? & behaviours, or is it?
    • having the right KSA’s are critical
    • early influences greatly shape your personal DNA. Certainly was for me!
      • parental background & involvement (+ve or -ve)
      • the values that are instilled &/or adopted (e.g. hard work, honesty, fairness, respect, competition, always do the best you can, caring for others)
    • a good education &/or training (including in life) are crucial
    • sport & exposure to competition at an early age can be a catalyst (more later)
    • the taste of early success &/or failure
    • early role models (good & bad) will shape you, including early jobs
    • “ Entrepreneurship is a state of mind!” John Anderson, Entrepreneurial Exchange in Scotland
    • “ Your future just doesn’t happen. You Create It!” Bill Cullen
    www.murraystrachan.co.uk
  • 5. My Story - The early years incl school
    • tasted success early through sport & as a cub scout
    • mother & father early role models - working hard, always busy, doing extra work, helping others but always time for the boys
    • early entrepreneurial forays - playing shop, the bike, paper round, discos & first exit!
    • always trying to make money doing various jobs or errands
    • both working and being good at sport, helped greatly with networking as well as building confidence and credibility
    • but also suffered some disappointments & failures (like most kids)
    • early influences from outside (the family) by entrepreneurial role models
    www.murraystrachan.co.uk
  • 6. My Story - The Student Days
    • Worked for 6 months as labourer for builder before going to university - hard work but learned so much about people!
    • Always eager to learn. Started school early & university on my 17th birthday!
    • BSC Quantity Surveying - gained wide range of knowledge incl commercial, technical, legal, accounting, economics, project management & psychology. No business studies courses then!
    • Always working! Worked in bars & hotels throughout student days and in construction & potatoe harvesting and the like in the holidays.
    • The driver? Did what I needed to do to get money to survive and pay for the lifestyle and things I wanted, incl a car, even as a young student.
    • Working at an early age helped me get streetwise, grow confidence in meeting and dealing with people, develop my communication skills and build my network.
    • continuing influence from entrepreneurial role models
    www.murraystrachan.co.uk
  • 7. My Story - The Apprenticeship part 1. Post University to end of 80’s
    • moved to Aberdeen to get into Oil & Gas industry as it excited me! Global industry, fast moving, apparent opportunities and good earning potential.
    • took a lot of effort to eventually get my first opportunity and then it was in Huntly!
    • then I experienced my first oil slump and was made redundant! But where one door closes another opened up! First experience of the power of networking.
    • landed a consultant role at Oceaneering (diving co.) in Aberdeen. Very quickly earned a reputation as someone with commercial flair & who made a difference.
    • first overseas postings working for periods in Norway and Middle East. Loved it! Incredible knowledge & experience gained. Only came home to get married.
    • Contracts / Operations Manager position with Alpha Group, ended up running the operations in Aberdeen, Norway and Middle East within 12 months.
    • Daughter born Sept 88! Life takes on a different perspective!
    www.murraystrachan.co.uk
  • 8. My Story - The Apprenticeship part 2. The 90’s with Maersk & Liberty
    • head hunted in 1990 to join Salamis part of Maersk Group to sort out Material & Logistics division. Led the attainment of BS 5750 Part 2
    • set up own Quality Matters consultancy business on back of DMS dissertation. Ran in spare time. Developed reputation for helping companies achieve BS 5750 first time, in half the time, and at half the cost!
    • involved in the establishment of three joint venture companies and was seconded for periods to Kent Line (to help close down ferry terminal) and Shell Haven (to help establish a new project team etc).
    • in ’92 was head hunted by major competitor but decided to stay when offered major change management role which resulted in me becoming ‘bag carrier” to CEO. Incredible learning opportunity and career boost.
    • in ’94 was appointed GM of all support services and involved in the merging / integration of the Maersk oil & gas divisions in the UK and establishment of JV’s & contracts in Brunei and Newfoundland.
    • in late ‘98 was head hunted by Liberty Mutual as GM and MD designate of european occupational health & risk services division. Led the turnaround and restructuring of divisions and then the sale to Aon & MBO teams
    www.murraystrachan.co.uk
  • 9. My Story - The Millennium & beyond! RGIT Montrose & Petrofac Training RGIT Montrose & Petrofac Training
    • decade started in difficult circumstances with wife, Lorraine diagnosed with terminal cancer. As well as working, I became the main carer.
    • decided not to take senior position with Aon on sale of Liberty.
    • was persuaded by John Milligan (former head of RGU board of governors) to join RGIT Montrose in part time capacity as Interim MD of RGIT Ethos to turnaround, restructure and then sell.
    • on death of Lorraine, in early 1991 , I joined RGIT Montrose Group in full time capacity as GM to rightsize & restructure the newly merged group. Appointed MD of Group 3 months later with remit to grow the business both in the UK and further internationally.
    • led a MBO of the Group and secured the business against considerable competition in April 2003. Rapid change and growth instigated which involved selling 65 bed hotel, selling one overseas JV, closing another, establishing three new overseas operations and acquiring two businesses .
    • in February 2004 led the sale of the Group to Petrofac to establish Petrofac Training and build the leading international oil and gas training and consultancy provider. Acquired businesses in UK and Far East, established international HQ and operations in Middle East, growing business to $85 M t/o with over 300 employees
    www.murraystrachan.co.uk
  • 10. My Story - The Millennium & beyond! Petrofac to Independence Petrofac to Independence
    • in 2005 appointed Director of Petrofac Operations Services and became part of Petrofac IPO team
    • mid 2006 appointed Chief of Staff, with remit to architect and resource a multi faceted major change programme including integration with other two main divisions
    • stood down from full time employment with Petrofac in June 2007, retaining a senior strategy adviser role for a further two years.
    • in 2007 established own strategic consultancy, Strachan & Partners and investment group, Albyn Ventures
    • from 2007 to early 2010 led investments in, numerous start-ups and SME’s through the UK and overseas, both as an angel investor as well as personally
    • 2008 to 10 undertook several challenging turnaround & refinancing consultancy projects or interim roles.
    • several of the start-ups have either gone to the wall or been mothballed due to lack of available funding over the last 18 months. Others I’ve had to get heavily involved to keep alive. This has been a very difficult and huge learning experience!
    • The end of the decade culminated in a hugely expensive and mentally draining major litigation, resulting from an investment in a international motor component co. This was one of the most difficult experiences of my life, second only to Lorraine’s death.
    www.murraystrachan.co.uk
  • 11. current investee companies www.murraystrachan.co.uk
  • 12. charities & associations
    • The Entrepreneurial Exchange in Scotland - Vice Chairman
    • CLAN - a leading NE cancer charity - Vice Chairman
    • Robert Gordon University - Honorary Professor
    • Royal Scottish National Orchestra - Member of the Development Board
    www.murraystrachan.co.uk
  • 13. You can learn a lot from Sport!
    • You need to put more time and effort into training and preparation if you want to succeed e.g. Jackie Stewart, Gary Player
    • Determination - never giving up, turning things around
    • Always striving to improve
    • Competition is inevitable and you must learn to cope with the pressures
    • If you work hard, keep doing the right things, then at some point you’ll get a break that will change things!
    • If you want to succeed, you need to push yourself, endure some pain
    • You have to be focused & make sacrifices to get to the top
    • There will be setbacks! It’s how you deal with these and recover (e.g. Rory Mcilroy)
    • To win, you need reliable people, processes and technology but “to finish first, you first need to finish” Jackie Stewart
    www.murraystrachan.co.uk
  • 14. Some advice!
    • be prepared to, & serve a broad & varied Apprenticeship
    • no substitute for hard work. If it was easy, everyone would do it!
    • keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities - look for gaps in the market or problems that can be solved or things made better?
    • ideally look for low capital intensive and highly cash generative opportunities
    • persistence & patience are crucial. It won’t happen quickly
    • sometimes imagination is more important than knowledge
    • building personal networks is key
    • you have to get good with financials & cash management
    • keep learning and stretching yourself
    • “ Your future just doesn’t happen. You Create It!” Bill Cullen
    www.murraystrachan.co.uk
  • 15. Some other lessons!
    • always selling! Make a friend you’ll make a sale!
    • surround yourself with quality people! If you fly with the crows your likely to be shot.
    • ensure you have good counsel - NEDs and best experts & today’s man rather than yesterday’s.
    • if you get out-with chartered territory you become exposed to external elements and unforeseen factors
    • maintain values and common sense
    • learn to trust your gut! Plus, if it looks too good it normally is!
    • there are days, months or years when things don’t happen for you. That’s life! You need to learn from these situations. Things will change!
    • you don’t need to be ruthless to be successful in business
    • first impressions are critical
    www.murraystrachan.co.uk
  • 16. What now / next for me?
    • .....more of the same!
    • Looking to exit some of my current investments & companies
    • Searching for next RGIT Montrose
    • Next two years as Vice Chairman of Entrepreneurial Exchange
    • Considering further education
    • Plan to do some writing
    • Involvement in further charitable initiatives including Enlight
    • Hopefully some time for golf, cycling, travel and Carol & the family
    • .....................There’s still an awful lot to do!
    www.murraystrachan.co.uk
  • 17. The answers to some of your questions www.murraystrachan.co.uk

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