Posts Tagged ‘Business’

We were joined for the first Cardiff Breakfast Club of the season by Ron Jones, Founder and Executive Chairman of ‘super-indie’ television production company Tinopolis. Ron has been awarded the CBE for his contribution to the media industry and is an advisor on the creative industries to the Welsh Government. His talk focused on the economic benefits of supporting the creative industries – particularly television and film – in Wales.

Ron began by explaining that all government worldwide are now realising that the creative industries are important in driving economic growth, and that in countries such as Singapore governments are ‘throwing money’ at creative projects, creating a highly competitive environment in which Welsh companies have to compete.

However, Ron stressed the fact that the creative industries are an area in which Wales holds its own thanks to the talent and expertise within the industry. The sector now employs 75,000 people – an increase of 50% over the last ten years. With the average weekly earnings for employees in the industry between £710 and £720 a week, much higher than other priority sectors, the contribution of those working in the creative industries to the economy is substantial.

Ron expressed concern that few Welsh companies were heading ‘for the high seas’ to compete across the world in what has become a global industry and emphasised the need for Welsh television to compete across the world. Ron’s own company, Tinopolis, has offices across the UK, LA, Middle East and Singapore and will have a turnover of £250million this year. He used Tinopolis as an example to show that Wales is not at a competitive disadvantage and that technology means
that there is no reason why Wales shouldn’t be a ‘global player’.
Cardiff Breakfast ClubRon also stressed the need for help and funding for the Welsh creative industries from the government, pointing out that;“Much of the growth has come from small micro-businesses of which some have the potential to become significant players. We need to match government funds to the needs of these companies.”

Ron noted that there are many talented and supportive civil servants working within the Welsh Government and that a good relationship has been established between the creative sector and the government, but that there is still obstruction to finding and support that needs to be addressed to help Wales become a global player in the industry.

The next Breakfast Club will be held on 23rd October with guest speaker Tim Williams, Chief Executive of the Welsh Automotive Forum. For further information and booking details, please contact or phone 02920 549597.

Simon Powell, Eysys

It was our last Breakfast Club of the season and we were joined by established Welsh entrepreneur, Simon Powell. Simon is currently the chairman and investor of four businesses in the travel and technology sectors, as well as the Managing Director of Powell Property Developments LTD, Founder of and CEO of Comtec Group. He has a wealth of experience, not only in setting up successful businesses, but also in turning around struggling businesses.

Simon began by stressing that, when setting up a business, it’s important to define what people want from it in terms of success. From something small and simple like running a successful corner shop to owning a fast car or becoming a billionaire, he believes that success is relative and what is most important is that people can define what it means to them and have a chance of achieving it.

He went on to list the things that he has done throughout his business career that most helped him to achieve his own success, in particular sharing equity. Simon recommended Finance Wales as an investor, but also advised potential entrepreneurs to share equity with their employees; “I think it is important to share equity, not just with financial institutions…but with the teams that are going to drive things.”

Simon also emphasised the importance of putting together a strong team to work together on the business, and making decisions quickly, fixing any wrong ones as soon as possible. He admitted that there are ‘no straight roads in business’ and that there will be bad days, but the important thing is to remain focused. He sees that his role in all of his businesses is to create opportunities, push through decisions, and make and maintain relationships.

Evidence of Simon’s theories being put into practice can be seen in his recent reacquisition of Comtec in October 2014. After a loss of £5m last year, the business is now projecting an Ebitda of £1.4m for this year.Breakfast Club

Simon is passionate about finding the next generation of talented young people to work in technology and highlighted the importance of working with schools to help inspire children to pursue a career within the tech industry. In particular, he talked about the huge potential within Wales and Welsh schools to produce skilled tech professionals, but emphasised the fact that not enough is being done to achieve this with current tech courses not tailored to business.

Simon concluded his talk by encouraging graduates who are thinking about setting up their own businesses to go for it, stating that there is lots of funding available and that “if you’re passionate and committed, you can do it”.

Dates and speakers for the autumn will be announced soon. For further information and booking details, please contact or phone 02920 549597.

For a marketing man who started his working life in the media department of an advertising agency, digesting media readers’ life figures from long surveys, I was fascinated to read of how sophisticated the media buyers’ world has now become.

The phrase ‘Out of Home’ may be well-known to a number of ad people but Rob's blog imagethe ‘average’ member of our population (if there is one!) would not have a clue as to its meaning. Let me enlighten you. Out of Home refers to all opportunities that Ad people have to sell or inform you about products or services from the moment you leave home.

Some key facts:

“Consumers spend 25% more time out of their homes that 10 years ago”

“18 hours is the average time working adults spend travelling each week”

So from the moment you close your front door you are a potential target for the specialist OOH Ad man! From posters, in papers, on books, radio or anywhere where potential consumers travel they could be after you! Beware if you use your mobile as they can immediately locate you and then target you to promote specific shops/restaurants/bars etc for your consideration. This is done with such a degree of accuracy that the recipient of such messages can be targeting using visual, sound or even smell and is given relevant information about products and services they were more likely to need; rather than large print advertisements where a large percentage of readers may be totally unsuited for any messages aimed at them.

I believe that with such precise targeting of messages in the future there will be less wastage in promotion budgets and the consumer ultimately will benefit from relevant messages delivered via OOH media channels at no cost to the consumer.

eng walFor those of us who work in the PR business in Wales, it was extremely heartening to read the positive remarks on the PR profession in Wales in last week’s excellent Friday File in the Western Mail, written by Rhodri Evans.

He calls for a level playing field when public sector contracts are tendered for, to enable those suitably qualified organisations based in Wales the opportunity to win such tenders.  In 2013, you do not have to be located in the centre of London, or Paris, or Cairo in order to obtain media coverage for clients in those centres.  If the story is relevant, well conceived and suitable for a particular media and its audience, a client can gain significant cost benefits by using a local PR consultant here in Wales.

It’s a no brainer really for those responsible for growing our economy and increasing employment in high skilled sectors such as PR; Procurement Officers should be encouraging our PR sector to invest in training, and convincing PR bosses to employ the very best in the profession by ensuring that local PR companies are asked to compete for all relevant tenders and aren’t excluded for reasons of location.  If a small consultancy like mine can gain coverage for clients in Africa, Canada, Spain, Germany, USA, Egypt, Italy etc then others can also.

Well done Rhodri for also reminding the business community that there is a pool of excellent PR talent here in Wales, and that all those using external PR consultancies should perhaps think again. Maybe they will be pleasantly surprised and can save a lot of money in the process and help our economy grow.

I was amazed this week to read of the latest work trend to hit the UK from the US.

Yes, it’s true, the idea of holding business meetings and making contacts while you work out has really taken off!

Dubbed ‘sweatworking‘, Fitness First and LA Fitness are already planning to trial spinning classes dedicated to networking.

It looks like this new trend could become a reality for those of us who use the gym to keep fit, followed by relaxing in the bar afterwards with a pint or two. Maybe that should be orange juice from now on – and a pair of dark glasses, so no client spots me doubled over, huffing and puffing!

Do you think it’ll take off here? After all, a round of golf or game of squash with a client or contact is not unheard of.  Maybe you are already networking while working out?

Beware Cardiff, business ‘sweatworking‘ is just around the corner. Dig out the trainers and gym kit, and be prepared!

By Rob Petersen, Managing Director

“I can at last really applaud one of our Welsh Government’s Ministers, Mrs Edwina Hart, Business and Enterprise Minister for seeing the light in terms of economic development in Wales.

I have long echoed the voice of Sion Barry, Business Editor of the Western Mail in believing that the future of South East Wales, in particular does not lie in the success of Cardiff solely but in the development of the Cardiff City Region as Sion repeats in today’s Western Mail.

The setting up of a group under the chairmanship of Elizabeth Hayward is to examine the potential role of regions in the planning of future economic development and prosperity in Wales is to be welcomed.

Let’s hope their Findings can be published quickly and we can start seriously competing with other regions of the UK and internationally.”

By Becci Gould, Account Executive, Petersens PR

To kick-start the new season, the Cardiff Breakfast Club was joined this morning by Professor Robert Huggins, Professor of Economic Geography at Cardiff University who chose the event to launch his new findings in Culture and Economic Development: Perspectives from Wales.

Although the sun was surprisingly shining on this late September morning here in Cardiff, sadly the findings from Professor Huggins’ research were not quite so cheery leaving the Breakfast Club with rather a bleak view of Welsh Culture.

It has been widely remarked that Wales, as a nation, often looks to the past to find its identity, and Professor Huggins believes the data he presented at today’s meeting reflects this view.

Not only do Welsh perceptions suggest an unhappy and unhealthy nation, with an average value of only 40% and 66% respectively and with both figures being considerably lower than the UK average, but Professor Huggins’ figures also suggest that the percentage of Wales considering themselves driven in work and education is 10% below the UK average.

“Only 40% of people in Wales consider themselves happy”


In terms of perception of the business culture across Wales, Robert released further surprising figures which suggested that arguably the most business orientated areas of Wales, Swansea and Cardiff, had in fact some of the lowest perceptions of our business culture, suggesting a lack of confidence in both economic growth and entrepreneurial activities.

However, thankfully all is not lost for Wales– despite research proving us to be unhealthy, unhappy, unmotivated and lacking in confidence, it did suggest that Wales is one of the most cohesive nations, coming 3rd across the UK. Professor Huggins also remarked that whilst London may be the most wealthy area, it is also the least cohesive which arguably says a great deal about the British culture in general!

Wales is the 3rd most cohesive region in the UK

Another positive was all regions of Wales scored highest in terms of giving care to their communities (collective action) in relation to other areas of the UK and in an answer to a question from the audience he accepted that this positive element of out culture could be used to encourage businesses into Wales. For an example of a success story just look at Admiral!

Perhaps it is time to use this cohesive nature to our advantage, not by patiently waiting for others to help us but by promoting our abilities to work together to counteract the negative opinions of Wales.

To achieve this Professor Huggins proposes we must wholeheartedly embrace the power of the Welsh Government whilst educating the next generation that entrepreneunialism and a thriving economy is achievable in Wales.


By Rob Petersen, Managing Director

Brilliant news on my return from holiday in sunny Ibiza on yesterday’s announcement by the Business Minister Edwina Hart on the five enterprise zones being established by the Welsh Government.

Of particular importance to the future of the Cardiff City Region is the support of the Cardiff Business District. At last the Welsh Government has recognised that having thriving business centres in Cardiff is such an important element to enable the City Region to develop.

I plead for all interested parties, public and private sector, to make it happen!

Becci Gould

by Becci Gould, Account Executive

Originally from the West Midlands, when I came to Cardiff four years ago I had no idea what it would feel like to be part of such a strong national culture. As a (sort of) Brummie, I have to admit that I am used to avoiding associations with the area (and accent in particular) at all costs, but here in Wales it is very different – people seem proud to live here, fully embracing their Welsh accents, traditions and landmarks. And so they should.

National Museum

I’m not going to pretend I’ve visited the whole of Wales – in fact I still haven’t made it as far as Swansea – instead I’m going to stick to what I know and have become quite attached to – Wales’ thriving capital, Cardiff.

On my very first visit to Cardiff, as a 17 year old college student desperately hunting for the perfect university, I instantly fell in love. Not only did the city feel welcoming but having never really been interested in architecture before, I found myself mesmerised by the beautiful buildings – from the National Museum to the Main University building – it all just felt right!

Roath Park, Cardiff

Four years later and I am now not only living in the city but also working here – a true Cardiff convert! Having spent my university days exploring the lifestyle here in Cardiff – the varied nightlife, the ever-improving shopping facilities, the gorgeous parks and the many restaurants (particularly those with frequent 2-for-1 offers), I am now experiencing the city’s thriving business culture.

Having hosted several Cardiff Breakfast Club events, I can now say with great confidence that the business community here are not only friendly, helpful and polite but also professional and extremely knowledgeable both in their particular sectors and in the economy as a whole. Most importantly, they are also up-to-date with current issues, technologies and trends and are able to confidently advise on these matters. I have therefore discovered Cardiff is a great place to begin a career – not only does commuting across the city not mean getting up at 6am but there is a great balance here, between being in a city that is a national centre of business but also that provides a great local atmosphere where it is possible to gain focused and specialised experience.

I cannot deny that I have been inspired by the people who work here – from my university lecturer and careers advisor to the notable mentors I have been lucky to work with during my many work experience placements. From entrepreneurs to fundraisers – the people I have met have been not only determined to succeed but fundamentally dedicated to benefiting others – and, in my personal opinion, it is this final observation that Wales should be most proud of. 



Happy St. David’s Day Wales …Dydd Gwŷl Dewi Sant Hapus

Bring on the Welsh Cakes!




Pyramid of Djoser (Step Pyramid)

A Newport-based structural engineering company has recently secured a contract to save the first pyramid ever built in Egypt.  Cintec has been enlisted by the High Council of Egyptian Antiquities to preserve the pyramid of Djoser, otherwise known as the Step Pyramid, which was built in the 27th century BC for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser by the mystical architect Inhoptep. A major earthquake in 1992 compounded the results of many other seismic events over the eons and has caused serious faults in this famous archeological structure. Partial collapse of the burial chamber ceiling as a direct result of the earthquake could ultimately lead the collapse of the pyramid’s central chamber if action is not imminently taken.

Cintec, a structural repair and reinforcement systems company with headquarters in Wales, has an extensive track record in preserving historical landmarks across the world.  The company has maintained structures including, the Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Iron Bridge Gorge and countless Castles and Churches in the UK in addition to The White House complex Washington DC and the Chicago Board of Trade Building in the USA, the Canadian Parliament Building, Thirteen historic mosques and buildings in Cairo, A pharonic temple Hibis in the Western Desert, and the Red Pyramid near Giza in Egypt, the European Parliament building in the centre of Athens, using its highly advanced and innovative engineering systems.   Such systems include stainless steel structural reinforcement anchors, which are surrounded with a special fabric sock and inserted into the body of the structure to be secured. The anchor is then inflated with a sympathetic micro grout designed for the purpose using a combination of pressure and vacuum to completely fill the assembly.

To support the partial collapse of the damaged ceiling, Cintec are using another technology it has developed, known as Waterwall.

Example of Air Bag

This recent development uses both Water and air technology, to mitigate the effects of improvised explosive devices in particular dirty bombs, provides anti-ram barriers and effective mobile barriers for instant relief from flooding.  Cintec’s team of experienced engineers will use a combination of these methods in order to temporarily secure the damaged ceiling while permanently repairing and protecting the Step Pyramid from further damage without altering the structure’s outer appearance. The overall value of the project is £16 million Egyptian Pounds.

Peter James, Managing Director of Cintec says:

‘We are extremely pleased to have been appointed for this project and are always looking for new methods to support and maintain historical landmarks across the globe.  We recognise the importance of both historical and religious structures to their culture’s and hope to continue to develop advanced reinforcement systems that will preserve archeological structures for future generations.  The Step Pyramid project is of particular importance to us as the entire structure could be destroyed at any point due to the damage on the ceiling and roof caused by the earthquake.  We aim to work as efficiently as possible on this project without comprising the design or strength of the structure.’

The reinforcement company is familiar with working under great pressure and was recently called upon by the Indian Government to strengthen the Mangi Bridge in Dehli before the beginning of the Commonwealth Games.  Not only did the Cintec team deliver ergonomically sound results, but they also managed to complete the project five days ahead of schedule.   Cintec is currently awaiting decisions on further projects throughout the UK, Europe and the rest of the world, amounting to over 10 million pounds.


Just some of our coverage:

BBC Wales News

ITV Wales News

The Daily Mail (online edition)

Wales Online

The Independent

The Independent 6th January 2011

For further information contact:

Rob Petersen, Managing Director

Petersens Ltd.


Becci Gould, Account Executive