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Top 50 alumni ambition intensifies

14 Oct 2020

Ambition. This is one of the most important qualities in a leader and – ultimately – a determining factor of business success. Over the last three years, LDC’s Top 50 programme has searched for the most ambitious business leaders in the UK and uncovered more than 150 inspiring individuals demonstrating incredible determination, innovation and leadership brilliance.

The ambition of these individuals has only intensified over time. We caught up with some of the leaders that have been featured in previous years to see where their ambition has taken them.

In the year since appearing in the Top 50, Justin Whitston, founder of mobility-as-a-service firm Fleetondemand has grown his Bradford-based business 290pc, increased headcount from 47 to 60, opened new offices overseas, and successfully acquired a rival.

My long-term ambition for Fleetondemand is to create Yorkshire’s first billion-pound unicorn.”
Justin Whitston
Founder, Fleetondemand

“We are truly global, allowing business travellers to manage their journeys to and from anywhere in the world using a single smartphone or desktop application.”

Justin’s advice for other business leaders is to, “constantly innovate, invest in a great team of people to help support your vision, listen to your customers and exceed their expectations, and consider the benefits of growth through acquisition versus more organic growth.”

Another Top 50 leader from 2019, Stuart McLachlan, is hoping to make a lasting global impact. Stuart’s consultancy, Anthesis Group, works with FTSE 100 businesses to make their organisations more resilient, sustainable and environmentally conscious. He is predicting double-digit growth in 2020, despite the economic climate, by focusing on the company’s strategy and its clients. “Our staff, and many of our clients recognise that what we do over the next 10 years will determine what happens over the many thousands of years because of climate impact and the unsustainable use of resources,” he says. “Anthesis will help move the dial in this decisive decade.”

Shortly before being featured in the Top 50, entrepreneur Eben Upton CBE launched the Raspberry Pi 4, a single-board computer, which is powerful enough to rival a PC. This product has won many awards for its performance and design. The Raspberry Pi is already the bestselling British computer of all time but Eben is not one to rest on his laurels and continues to press on. “We continue to deliver on our technology roadmap, and to build out new routes to market. We launched a new high-quality camera accessory and high-end 8GB Raspberry Pi 4 in the second quarter of this year, and have a slate of exciting new products queued up for the autumn.”

Eben’s ambition burns just as brightly today, but when it comes to advising other aspiring leaders going for growth, he stresses the importance of the other people. “It’s all about the quality of the team around you,” he adds. “I’ve worked hard at Raspberry Pi to bring on board the very best engineers, creatives, commercial and finance staff that I’ve encountered over a quarter of a century in the industry.”

MEET THE LEADERS

Next week meet our next 10 most ambitious business leaders and our ‘Ones to Watch.