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Phill Davies: [London Has] a Great Talent Pool and Ready Access To Corporate Head Offices and Expertise

Phill Davies of Magway.

Tell us about yourself?

Married, dad to three ‘lively’ children.

When not chauffeuring them around is responsible for the commercial development and roll out of the Magway system, including funding, promotion and engagement across various interest groups and partnerships. Otherwise known as the ‘non-engineer’ on the team.

Phill has been involved with various businesses at different stages of their development.

He spent a number of years with Deloitte Consulting and Lehman Equity Research providing thought leadership and some of the first written research reports on Software as a Service business models.

He is also active in the start-up space assisting a number of companies with their commercial roll-outs/scale-ups.

What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?

Never to be surprised. There’s no harm in asking.

Far from being unique the entrepreneurial experience is shared by many.

There are people out there who want to help, you just need to find them.

Don’t be scared to make mistakes otherwise known as learning opportunities.

If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Be conscientious in celebrating the small wins.

It’s easy to neglect and move on to the next challenge. Success comes from a series of small steps along with numerous bumps along the way.

The ability to recognise, enjoy and share the successes smooths and shortens the bumps.

A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?

This takes effort. The business will be on your mind all day and every day (and often the night too). Look after your health. Take regular exercise.

When the opportunity presents itself do spend time with the family. They’ll be grown up before you know it!

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

We are a purpose driven organisation.

Our foundations we’re built on the founders’ personal frustrations with the inefficiency and environmental impact of goods movement.

We wanted a solution that protected the planet for our children, grandchildren and future generations.

What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?

The Magway Team and the extensive patented technology and tacit knowledge that underpins Magway solution for zero-emission sustainable and efficient deliveries.

Unlike alternative solutions we are not dependent on battery technologies and remove vehicles from the roads reducing congestion and pollution including particulate matter.

How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?

We have signed two visionary ‘early adopter’ clients who recognise Magway as a key element for achieving their own visions.

This is invaluable in terms of validation and traction of a new solution like Magway.

Laser focus is absolutely key and this needs to be articulated clearly both inside and out of the organisation so that it highlights and builds on putting customer value front and centre.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your business, and how did you overcome it?

Magway is a Silicon Valley organisation, operating out of North Wembley in London. Europe has seen its fair share of start-up success stories however we still lack hardware ‘poster children’.

The European eco-system to support a new gutsy solution like Magway with a significant hardware element is still well behind the US.

We have countered this by targeting anchor customers that will most benefit from our value proposition.

We have benefitted from UK Government grants and putting Magway purpose at the forefront has also attracted talent and the support of the ‘crowd’ when raising finance.

What do you find are the advantages of operating your business in London?

There is a great talent pool and ready access to corporate head offices and expertise.

Are there any issues with having a London based business? Have you experienced these?

The cost of doing business is greater. Finding the right industrial space is more challenging.

How has the higher than UK average cost of living impacted your ability to work and live in London and how has this also impacted your ability as an employer?

The cost of living has definitely had an impact on members of the team, particularly more junior ones.

Some have made the decision not to live in London as a result and we do offer flexible working where possible.

If you had to relocate your business to another city in the UK, which one would it be and why?

Birmingham, Manchester, Oxford or Bristol. There are good talent pools and connections to these locations as well as opportunities.

How has BREXIT impacted your business (if at all)?

The primary impact has been on supply chains and lead times and cost of components

What is your vision for your company in the next 5 years?

The first commercial Magway systems will be operating on private sites.

With proven reference points for improved reliability, productivity, cost and sustainability of moving goods via Magway we will be in the expanding the roll-out of our systems across the UK and internationally.

And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?

To get in touch people should visit our website or email their interests to either [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Follow Magway on Twitter or Linkedin.

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