Paul Wilks (l) owns a Budgens supermarket in Bedgrove, Bucks, and works with store manager Neil Smith Store owner, Paul Wilks From the moment I met Neil it was clear he was different from the rest of the student employees we had, particularly in terms of his attitude and industrious spirit. Throughout our time with Budgens I've seen Neil hold various positions within the company and have watched him perform well in every role he has undertaken. It was for this reason that I wanted to bring him on board when I became the independent owner of the Bedgrove store. We have a good working relationship, as we share a vision in terms of how a store should look, the type of customer service we should offer and the way our team should be managed. We also have similar ideas on how we want to drive the business and how to manage costs. Communication is vital and we regularly make use of each other as a sounding board. Neil also has many strengths and, like any good operator, he gets things done. That's an invaluable skill in a manager. He has also built a really good relationship with our team of over 50 employees. As for weaknesses, other than supporting Liverpool FC, it's hard to say. Store manager, Neil Smith I have worked with Paul since I started with Budgens in 1991, when he was my assistant manager and I was a student doing weekend work. I could see Paul had a great management technique and a lot of experience. I had no doubt he would go far in the company - and he has. As I worked my way up the ladder to become a Budgens area manager, Paul was also working his way up to become a senior controller. Working with him has certainly been to my benefit. Having worked together at Budgens for a number of years we know each other very well and this has given us a good foundation, but over and above that we both have the same aims and standards. We help each other by being open to new ideas and projects. We also believe it is important to challenge each other if we feel there is a better way of doing something. Paul has many strengths, but his supportive nature and approachability are probably the top two. The fact that he supports Tottenham is his major weakness.