I got the chance to interview Ted Baker founder, Ray Kelvin at the HSBC Entrepreneurship Exchange event in London and he was a joy to engage. He understands what his business needs to prosper. He has had a vision for the growth of Ted Baker making it grow from a small shirt store in Glasgow to a huge global brand. This, however, was not easy. He had to work over time to make this brand what it is today by spending hours on end working from home.
Ray is a laid-back person who likes staying hidden just as he was 30 years ago when he started out and does not like being paraded on stage. He does not particularly believe in being a celebrity, hence he doesn’t like to show his face in public pictures.
As the founder of Ted Baker, he expresses that his biggest challenge so far in the business is that the retail industry is changing rapidly and keeps growing in leaps and bounds. He considers the Ted Baker stores as his children and in the past, he would make an effort to visit his outlets every so often just to confer and check on how they are doing. However, as the brand grew larger, it became a bit more difficult to make personal trips to all his outlets. He had to shift tactic from taking a more personal approach with trying to be present everywhere and instead focus on working hard at improving their standards constantly to ensure customer satisfaction.
People, Product, Profit
Ray believes the most important part of the company is the people working in it. Once you take care of your people and make your product a good one, you can expect to make a profit. “Personality is a key quality”, he says. It is important first to identify the personalities you work with to help identify the various roles they fit.
Ray Kelvin also has an open culture in his organisation that allows him to develop his employees. The company has an open office that allows employees to sit together, work and develop together. They also have a hug circle in the company where everyone can get a hug and be honest, this is quite a unique approach in business life.
How Ray keeps the company up and running; “Measure twice, cut once.” – explained his belief. Business measurement is in place to ensure planning is done in accordance to avoid scenarios where rework and problems are a major hindrance to progress. Measurements and metrics are a key aspect in Ted Baker to help the company prevent a future onset of problems.
The absence of business measurement in a company could result in costs incurred by the business that is irrelevant and too expensive and could result in customer dissatisfaction. These measurements and metrics help identify the root cause of the problem and not just come up with a temporary solution to fixing symptoms of the said problem.
To conclude, it should be noted how important it is to have business measurement and metrics what are linked to strategic plans to ensure steering the business to a dreamed future.
#entrepreneurexchange , #BritishEntrepreneurs