A 21-year old boss from Edinburgh has been shortlisted for The Institute of Directors Young Director of the Year award.
Chris Thomas is chief executive of incovo , the company his father Richard owned until his sudden death from a stroke at 45, three years ago.
Thomas took on the telecommunications and print solutions company based in Livingston and had to learn to lead on the job.
He has since adapted the business to fast-changing technology and given it a more contemporary branding.
Thomas said: “It’s so important to move with the times and be flexible in response to whatever comes your way – whether it be technological developments or personal life events.”
He has recruited 11 new team members and, after almost two years of hard work, late nights and careful negotiation, sealed one of the company’s largest deals to date – a £500k multi-site contract with a global insurance company. Incovo has clients throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East.
His relentless drive and dedication has earned him a place on the shortlist for the Institute of Directors award, which celebrates inspiring and pioneering business leaders from a variety of sectors.
Thomas said: “I was delighted to have been nominated for The Institute of Directors Awards, but to have been shortlisted for the finals is even more amazing.
“I would never have got this far if it weren’t for the incredible team at incovo. These past two years have been a steep learning curve for me and every team member has played a vital part in my journey, so this recognition is just as much about them as it is about me.”
He puts his success down to hard work but has made sure he scrutinises all aspects of the business and considers to other people’s advice before before making key decisions. He believes it is essential to stay mentally strong and focused.
Thomas believes incovo can become Scotland’s largest independent telecommunications and print solutions provider.
He is always keen to help others, sponsoring the Hamilton Bulls junior rugby team and Calderglen Thistle football team, and fundraising for MacMillan Cancer Support.
“Yes, we specialise in modern technology,” said Chris. “But at the end of the day, it’s vital to remember our company’s reputation is built on relationships with people.”
The winners of The Institute of Directors awards will be announced at the awards ceremony and dinner at the DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow Central on 23rd May.