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Wednesday, 17th April 2024
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Sensible consolidation Back  
Les Harris CEO of nevada tele.com shares a typical day with us and finds that it is not all doom and gloom in the market for telecoms businesses.
07.40 An early start to catch the Enterprise train from Dublin to Belfast. I am really impressed with this service which takes the chore out of travelling. I can relax and enjoy an excellent Irish breakfast whilst I catch up on the day’s news in the FT and Irish papers. I turn off my mobile phone as I do not feel public places like trains are a good place to conduct business. I wish my fellow passengers felt the same way.

09.45 Arrive in Central Station, Belfast and head to nevada’s office at the new Gasworks site. I like this office. It’s bursting at the seams as a result of the company’s rapid growth but there is a friendly and lively atmosphere. It looks and feels like a place where things get done. We are experimenting with hot-desking here to relieve the pressure on space. I find that it’s a particularly good discipline for the sales department who I like to be out with the customers anyway. We have good and secure remote access to our LAN so with a mobile, a laptop, and a portable printer our people can operate efficiently anywhere.

10.15 Take part in a photo call organised by the marketing department to accompany a press release that will announce nevada as the first telecommunications and internet company in Northern Ireland to sign up for NIE’s new ‘Eco Energy’. This is not particularly something I enjoy doing; all forced grins and posing. My mother would say, ‘Your face will get stuck like that’. However the message is a good one and I am keen to raise the company’s profile. We have been a best-kept secret for too long.

11.30 Meeting with a potential acquisition in the office. Our industry is still a long term high growth industry. People seem to forget that in the gloom and doom surrounding technology stocks. The current climate is, however, providing many opportunities for sensible consolidation. This will enable successful companies such as nevada to emerge from the current climate stronger and more competitive than ever.

12:30 Open door. I like my colleagues to know that when I’m not bound by the formality of meetings I am available to them. I particularly like to use unallocated time to check out what’s happening in the sales teams. If they don’t come to me I go to them. Most of them are out which is a good sign - they’re busy!

14.00 Banker meeting in Belfast. Keeping investors informed is part of the job. It’s not a chore. Also they have valuable insights on what’s working in other markets.

16.00 Meeting with Professor Wallace, Vice Chancellor of Springvale College. I find it refreshing to keep in contact with Academics. Not only can they be a source of good ideas but they provide a different perspective on the role of our industry in society and in business and can be real agents for change. Let’s not forget that the internet grew out of an information network for Universities.

19.00 Dinner with an old friend and colleague, Andrew Harrington, who I know from my days living and working in Hong Kong with New T&T. Andrew was senior telecoms analyst with Saloman Smith Barney and was the founder of NextCall in the UK. He is now offering consultancy services throughout the world and is helping me with a new business opportunity. It’s always good to meet with Andrew. He combines great intellect and experience with boundless enthusiasm. Business can be fun even at 10:30 at night.

23.00 Taxi to the Hilton Hotel in Belfast ready for another early start. Phone home and share the news of the day.

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