Former racing driver Jason Yeomans is used to travelling at speed. As MD of PMGC Technology Group he applies the same dynamic to the group’s growth plans.
Speaking to Mobile at PMGC’s sleek, designer headquarters just off London’s Oxford Circus, he says: ‘I want to grow the business at pace. I want to create a more dynamic business. We are not just a mobile business. Mobile is just the springboard to becoming a converged managed services provider.’
PMGC was created by Yeomans from the management buyout of Premier Mobile and the acquisition of Phonebox last year. The deal, which made him the majority shareholder, created a company with over 55,000 connections and annual revenues of over £12m, as well as a brief to become one of the UK’s largest managed service providers of mobile, voice, IT and cloud computing services.
Yeomans has wasted no time since taking the helm, instigating an aggressive buy and build strategy which has already seen the company acquire and launch a managed hosting service and a mobile device management service.
Now he is close to sealing the acquisition of another two mobile dealerships ‘within weeks’ and has plans to buy at least two more companies in the fixed line and data market over the next few months.
Yeomans predicts strong growth as the acquisitions bed in, forecasting annualised revenues to grow from around £12m this year to more than £20m over the next 18 months. He would also like to see customer numbers double this year. He says: ‘Our focus is more on our customers than connections. We have north of 55,000 connections but it is much more about how many customers we have to cross sell to than how many connections we have.’
PMGC’s customer base includes SOHOs, SMEs, small corporate and large public sector clients. This year the group is focusing on growing its large corporate customer base. Yeomans is reluctant to reveal how many customers PMGC has, but adds: ‘It’s a few thousand and we want to add a few thousand more to that. I’d like to double that. If we can double customer numbers this year I will be a very happy man.’
Yeomans is supported by a new management team recruited shortly after the creation of PMGC. First on board was former Azzurri finance chief Shez Cheema, who is finance director. Cheema was closely followed by Joe Mayhew, chief technical officer and co-founder of security service provider Citadel Data Security, who became the new chief information officer.
Yeomans says: ‘It gets to the point where as one person it is difficult to grow the business at pace and so I needed to put together an executive team. So the first appointment was Shez who has huge experience in the sector, as well as acquisition and restructuring experience, so he was my ideal candidate and top of the list and we are growing the team from there.’
Having the right calibre of staff is central to Yeomans’ strategy to grow the business. He says: ‘The key thing is to get the right people – people who really understand where we are going and people who have the right skills. If we are to harness other people’s technology, then we need the right people – so the challenge is to recruit the best people.’
Indicating PMGC’s ultra sleek office space, Yeomans says its central location is partly aimed at attracting the right people. He says: ‘We’re a bit different from our competitors, as you can see. A lot of them are based in offices out on business parks but we want to be in the centre of things.’
He adds: ‘We are transitioning into new markets and that is about creating a brand – the image is everything and it is also about how we attract and retain and motivate our staff and how to create a place they really want to be a part of.’
The vision thing
To this end PMGC is on the hunt for sales, customer account managers and technical staff which will take employee numbers across its four offices from 64 to over 70 this year. However, the mobile market is not Yeomans’ first port of call for recruiting staff. He explains: ‘We tend to try and recruit from outside of the industry unless we find a real high flying superstar. We are interested in bringing in different experiences and perspectives.’
He says he is also wary of a mindset in the mobile industry which harks back to the glory days of explosive growth: ‘We are trying to get away from commodity selling. Our goal is to bring solutions to market that will allow customers to work better which we manage for them – that is the value add.
‘If you are only selling mobile it is difficult to do that so we have to create more engaging services that lead our customers to say that they cannot do without us. That is the long term vision.’
Vodafone 'packing the right vision'
PMGC’s relationship with Vodafone, as one of its Platinum Partners, is central to its strategy.
Jason Yeomans says: ‘The networks are all really commoditised now and it matters little in terms of the service you get and so you have to look at the vision of the network and in that we are confident we have the right partner, because we know that what Vodafone is rolling out in the future is what we do in our own company. It is very much enterprise focused and streets ahead of the other networks.’
Yeomans says PMGC currently has 10% of its customers taking Vodafone’s OneNet service with plans to double that number this year. He acknowledges OneNet has had outage problems but adds: ‘Vodafone does want to get it right and they have learnt a lot and it is improving with additional services such as ethernet and fibre-to-cabinet coming on board.’
Vodafone’s recent acquisition of Cable and Wireless Worldwide (CWW) is also seen by Yeomans as adding value to the relationship. He explains: ‘If Vodafone can leverage [CWW’s] infrastructure then that will make its enterprise and OneNet service even stronger – after all, it is all about convergence and connectivity is absolutely key.’
Author: Carol Millett