How did you get to where you are today?
By far too much blood, toil, sweat and tears. I am sure that there must have been an easier way. I started in Dunlop&'s graduate training scheme; moved to Cadbury Schweppes; had a brief spell as European marketing manager for Economics Laboratory (since taken over by Reckitt Benckiser); and then joined Showerings (the Babycham to Gaymers cider company) as marketing director. From there I moved on to Bulmers as strategic services director - and then left to set up Wessex Craft Brewers. Eventually that was hit by a large bad debt, went into administration and became part of Branded Drinks, where I am now as sales and marketing director.
What&'s the most rewarding part of your job?
It&'s still &'getting the order&' - particularly if it&'s for a new beer idea you&'ve been involved in developing yourself.
What is the one thing that you could not do your job without?
A sense of humour.
What was the best decision you have made in your career and why?
The best decision I have made was taking an MBA in the US. It gave me a much broader picture, and improved my tennis dramatically.
What is the most important piece of information you have ever been told?
Sunk costs are irrelevant. Concentrate on what the best decision is going forward.
Who do you most admire in the industry?
Derek Strange, head of beers, wines and spirits buying at Waitrose. I think that Derek is one of the first supermarket beer buyers to actually care about the taste of a product and to take buying beer as seriously as buying wine.
If you could change one thing in the grocery industry what would it be?
I would not discount alcohol at Christmas. I think that it is a ludicrous waste of margin.
If you could start your career again, what would you do differently and why?
I would have liked to have had a go at acting - to either succeed or get it out of my blood.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry today?
Nothing beats personal contact.
What do you like doing when you are not working?
When I&'m not working you can either find me in a cinema, on a tennis court, or having a café éclair at the Café Rene in Bath - with at least one of my sons.
Where do you hope to be in five years&' time?
I would have liked to have successfully grown Branded Drinks to the point where I can afford to live at the level to which I wish to become accustomed.