Non-Executive Director and Consultant
Martin George graduated with a degree in Management Sciences in 1984. He is currently working as a non-executive director and consultant for a range of companies and well as volunteering within Netball. Here Martin discusses his career and why he chose to study at Loughborough.
I was looking for a broad-based management course at a leading University with the vocational benefits of a year in industry. I also wanted to study at a University with an excellent reputation for sport as I was a keen squash player. Finally I looked for a University that was located to attract people from across the country.
The Management Sciences course inspired me to pursue a career in business with a focus on marketing and particularly services marketing. The academic and practical experience provided the perfect foundation for both securing a place on an outstanding graduate programme and pursuing a rewarding career in marketing then general management.
Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?
My one piece of advice is to experience every element of management before deciding where you want to focus your career; remain open minded for as long as possible.
Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies? If so, how did this impact upon your Loughborough experience?
I played squash for the University and it was undoubtedly one of the highlights of my time at Loughborough.
On graduating I joined Cadbury and spent 3 years working in Marketing before joining British Airways where, over 9 years, I undertook a number of roles in Marketing, Commercial and General Management. My final role was as Commercial Director, reporting to the CEO, and a member of the main Board.
After BA I was Group Development Director at Bupa then Commercial Director at the Post Office. In parallel I have started my own businesses in both the travel publishing and hospitality industries and held non-executive roles in a range of sectors including healthcare, sports goods, travel, toys and Netball. I also chaired a charity for 10 years.
I am currently a non-executive director with Hornby (who also own Scalextric, Corgi, Airfix and Humbrol) where we are midway through a turnaround; Grays (a family owned business in sports good manufacturing who also own the iconic Gilbert and Gray-Nicolls brands); London Doctors Clinic (a start-up network of private GP clinics); PrivateFly (a private jet broker) and the Netball World Cup in Liverpool 2019.
Being a non-executive means that I am less involved in the day to day management of a single business but more involved in the governance of a range of businesses.
In all cases, my role is to challenge and support the executive management team, to ensure that they govern and lead the business in the interests of the shareholders.
I love the variety of my portfolio and the opportunity to work closely with management teams to improve the businesses.
The Netball World Cup is a unique opportunity for a genuinely female-only sport and for the city of Liverpool to host the best-ever female world cup, at a time when the popularity of the sport is growing rapidly.
My role with the World Cup is voluntary and I love it. Previously I chaired Global Radio’s charity for 10 years on a voluntary basis and loved that too. Global own Capital, Classic, Heart, Smooth and a number of other popular stations. We raised over £20m so it was wonderful to help so many deserving causes.
Right now I’m loving the variety of a portfolio career but who knows if that’s what I will do longer term. The key is to keep learning, having fun, being challenged and making a difference.
I’ve been part of a number of exceptional teams who built the BA London Eye, introduced the world’s first truly flat beds into business class, launched a 4th class of travel on long-haul aircraft, launched BA Miles, retired Concorde, transformed the profitability of the Post Office and Bupa Cromwell Hospital, digitised BA, Post Office and Bupa. I’ve been very lucky to work with lots of wonderful people.