This was the cry from the guest speaker Roy Richardson, the legendary businessman who is best known for the building of the Merry Hill shopping complex at the second Nachural Summer Business Ball and Awards at the Wolverhampton Racecourse on Friday the 30th June which attracted over 500 guests.
Richardsons has been developing real estate for six decades. The company was founded more than 60 years ago by the Black Country’s most famous twins – Roy, aged 87, and the late Don Richardson, and is now run by sons Lee, Carl and Martyn Richardson. Roy Richardson wealth is estimated at £500 million.
The company is growing internationally and has developments across many European countries including Hungary, Austria and The Netherlands. Despite expansion across the world, the Richardsons will be best remembered for one of their earliest and biggest regeneration developments on their own doorstep – the transformation of the 300 acre former Round Oak Steelworks into the Merry Hill Shopping Centre. This development is one of the biggest retail centres in Europe.
Roy outlined the characteristics of what makes an entrepreneur tick which included a hard work ethic, exploring all opportunities and having excellent customer service. He described how difficult it was to raise money for investment when interest rates were 15% but argued that the Black Country was a great region to invest and live. He described the process of calculating risk and argued that society cannot exist without the effort and entrepreneurial talent that the business community supplies.
Mr Ninder Johal who is CEO of the organisers of the Awards, and who was until recently the President of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and sits as a Black Country LEP Board member spoke about the fall out of the general election vote. Whilst he asserted that it was going to be very uncertain in the short term but if the UK continued to innovate and add value to their products and build on the strengths of its economy and its role in world affairs, the future was still very bright. He spoke about the need to assert leadership and more critically to involve the voice of business during the Brexit negotiations.
He also spoke about the positive future for the local region and the potential of the West Midlands Combined Authority where he sits as a member of the shadow board.
The inaugural Nachural Business awards celebrated a number of awards. The main winners on the night were Salisbury Poultry, a company with offices in Bilston, Black Country.
E, Salisbury Poultry is a widely recognised and reputable poultry processing company specialising in customer demand.
Tilk Raj Mehta founded Salisbury Poultry in 1989 which in the early days employed just 10 employees and supplied local wholesalers and restaurants from its premises in Darlaston.
In 1997 the Company moved into larger premises in Bilston retaining its local identity and creating employment for local community. Today the Company has a turnover of over £100 million and employs over 550 staff and operates from three modern purpose-built sites.
The Company offers the complete supply of fresh and frozen poultry, with the ability to provide bespoke hand finished products. The throughput at the sites is currently processing in excess of 700,000 birds per week.
Other award winners included :
Business Start up – New Electrical Supplies
Regeneration – Wolverhampton Council
Business Person of the Year – Paul Nichol
International and Enterprise – Wing Wah Group
Entrepreneur of the Year – Paul Lalli
Businesswoman of the Year – Angela Bir
Hospitality – Mount Hotel
Business of the Year – Salisbury Poultry
Lifetime Achievement Award – Roy Richardson
The headline sponsor for the event was Skills Support for the Workforce and other sponsors included :
Akaal ltd.com, BJS Two man delivery, Cobra Beer, East End foods, FBC Manby Bowdler, Hollywood Monster, HSBC, Guest Truck and Van, NFU, Pathway Group, Rational FX, Sandwell Council, Qatar Airways, Vision and the University of Wolverhampton.
Promise Dreams was the charity on the night where over 450 people attended and where over £4200 was raised. Host for the evening was BBC’s Tommy Sandhu of the BBC and the music for the evening was provided by DJ Tony.