James Phipps, director of The Business Exchange and CEO of IT and communications specialists Excalibur Communications in Swindon, has been shortlisted for Director of the Year in the Institute of Directors (IoD) South West Director Awards.
Excalibur, based in Westlea, was founded over 20 years ago and now provides IT, landline and mobile solutions to more than 5,500 businesses in the UK. This year the company entered the rankings of the South West’s top 150 SMEs.
James, whose first experience with mobile technology was working as a teenager in a mobile phone shop 17 years ago, took over the running of the business four years ago and is now overseeing a market leading service which has grown its IT services business by over 20% in the last 12 months. The company has recently extended its presence in the region with the opening of a new office in Bristol.
Excalibur is a long standing supporter of the local community and is involved in a number of projects, primarily supporting young people. This year it has committed to raising £50,000 for the RUH Bath Teenage Cancer Ward appeal and it is also involved in a number of local schools programmes.
James sits on the boards of Swindon Influence, Wiltshire Young Enterprise and the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and in 2013 was awarded Best New Business Supporter by Young Enterprise South West.
He said: “Our aim is to develop our non mobile business so that we become a trusted service partner in both mobile and non mobile in the next three to five years. Our profits and growth have risen significantly over the past five years in a time of economic instability. We believe this is due to the unique offering of products, services and focus on innovation based on a 20-year knowledge of the marketplace.”
IoD South West chairman Richard Ayre said: “The standard of entries was extremely high this year, confirming that there is a huge amount to celebrate within our region’s enterprise community.
“We have seen a real surge in optimism in the past 12 months as we have emerged from a challenging period into one which is once again seeing growth and buoyancy.
“It’s great to celebrate the best in leadership in this region and wonderful to then see our winners compete with the UK’s best for national honours.”
The South West’s IoD Director of the Year Awards 2014 seek to highlight outstanding business people.
They aim to celebrate achievements across the region, bring all parts of the enterprise community together and focus UK-wide attention on South West success.
Other categories include: Young Director, Public Sector and Family Business Director.
If successful, James and other regional award winners will go on to compete for the national awards in the autumn.
Last year University of Exeter student Selin Yigitbasi went on to take the title of national Student of the Year, beating five other regional finalists.
A panel of experts will judge the SW entries and the winners will be announced at the region’s annual celebration event on Thursday, June 12, at Bristol’s Paintworks, sponsored by Jaguar.
Pictured above: James Phipps