The Business Magazine publishes the 2018 Thames Valley 250 online and in print this month – with Westcoast topping the league, overtaking Thames Water for the first time.
The Theale-based company which is moving progressively beyond traditional IT distribution to fulfilment and cloud-based services, posted sales of £2.2 billion, to top the list just ahead of Thames Water.
For a home-grown Thames Valley company to overtake the UK’s largest water and wastewater company – the private utility responsible for water supplies in large parts of the south – is a major achievement.
This year’s Thames Valley 250 has some notable new entrants including expanding car dealership group Eden and hotel group Travelodge.
The 250 is sponsored by law firm Gateley plc, business adviser BDO, HSBC bank, Henley Business School and Vail Williams. It lists private, unquoted companies by turnover.
Thames Valley 250 dinner recognises region’s top performers
An awards dinner was held last night for 60 local business leaders to celebrate the launch of the 2018 TV250 listing of the Thames Valley’s leading private companies.
The ninth annual TV250 listing is now available to download here.
Combined sales of TV250 businesses are well over £20 billion and they employ more than 100,000 people.
The TV250 is sponsored by HSBC UK, BDO, Gateley plc and Henley Business School. Vail Williams was announced as a fifth sponsor.
David Murray, publisher of The Business Magazine and the TV250, noted: “One interesting statistic that came out last year was that the economy of the greater Thames Valley actually dwarfs the economies of the so-called powerhouses like Greater Birmingham and Greater Manchester.”
Disrupt or be disrupted?
The evening’s guest speaker Scott Dodds, CEO of IT services provider Ultima Business Solutions, talked about the unprecedented scale of technology change that is underway.
Ultima won the Innovative Tech Company award and was named Thames Valley Tech Company of the year at The Business Magazine’s Thames Valley Tech Awards 2018. The company is 50th in the TV250 and recently invested £18m in new headquarters in Reading.
Dodds said the world of technology is moving so rapidly that businesses are operating in fast-moving “digital rivers” where they constantly risk being disrupted.
Cobotics – the collaboration between people and robotics – is an important step businesses can take in a future where Ultima redefines the term IT as ‘intelligent transformation’ that can free people to innovate. It’s a future were artificial intelligence is seen as the new electricity.
“We need to automate to innovate. We have to massively change the cost of running our businesses, which comes through automation and robotics, so we can afford to innovate and make our businesses more competitive,” said Dodds. “We all have to ask ourselves: do you want to disrupt or be disrupted?”
The TV250 award winners are…
Although not a fully-fledged awards, the dinner was an opportunity to recognise the achievements of some star performers in the TV250.
This year, the TV250 judges and sponsors presented a special Achievement Award to recognise a business “that in many ways is the flagship private company of the Thames Valley”.
The award went to Westcoast, which has overtaken Thames Water at the top of the TV250 list, with sales of over £2.2 billion.
International Business Award
Winner: Williams Jet Tenders
- Lucy Group
- MMR Research
- Direct Wines
- European Electronique
- Westbury St Holdings
Winner: Roc Technologies
- Chevron Traffic Management
- Lucy Group
Leadership Team of the Year
Winner: MMR Research
- Resourcing Solutions
CEO under £25 million
Winner: Stephen Brazier, Aquinna Homes
- Michael Marriage, Doves Farm Foods
- Trevor Marshall, DirekTek
- Darren Richardson, ESP Global
- Bruce Tomlinson, HR Wallingford
- Paul Wonnacott, Vectair
CEO over £25m
Winner: Kevin Dady, IRIS Software
- Harmeet ‘Sunny’ Ahuja, Sun Mark
- Matthew Bonfield, Huntswood
- Richard Crawley, GreenTech Distribution
- Scott Dodds, Ultima Business Solutions
- Peter Hart, Austin Fraser
Winner: Mabey Group
- Chas A Blatchford
- Owen Mumford