Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business


Exclusive Interview: Richard Turner, CEO of Innovantage


Richard Turner, CEO, Innovantage, has spoken to Business News Wales a about his history in start-up businesses and creating the ultimate customer service. He tells us about finding the right  work-life balance and talks about how businesses can support the future generation workforce in Wales.

Can you give our readers a little background into yourself and your role within Innovantage?

Have a sales and marketing background but with a real passion for building longer term client relationships to support both client and supplier growth. Having been involved in a number of start up business and establishing repeatable revenue streams to support management development and exit planning, understanding and delivering client and market requirements is key.

My current role as CEO of Innovantage is ensuring the business builds all of the required relationship and business process and infrastructure to be a leader in its market, delivering exceptional customer experience on an international basis

What are your plans for the next five years, and where do you see your challenges and opportunities?

Growing the business internationally and spending my time on the important projects, to develop the  talent of the future is a real passion and inspiration

There are so many opportunities and demands on time that its important to focus on the right things and find the balance between work and personal life. Its very easy to be distracted and lose sight of key goals

Looking back at your career, are there things you would have done differently? 

Finding a better work life balance to spend time with the family, there are many events that I never attended because of work commitments and understanding that it OK to say no to things (in a positive way) when they are a distraction to th important objectives

What do you think are the most important qualities for success in business?

Decision making, focus, communication

What are your top three tips for success?

  • Make decisions quickly and if there wrong then change them quickly as well
  • Do what you say you will do and admit if you cant
  • Focus

Are there any innovations within your sector that you believe should be adopted by the wider Welsh market?

We have access to market intelligence for both the demand and supply of resources/talent withing the market. Understanding the dynamics of the employment market and the impact that Gen Z will have coupled with Brexit are going to be key factors of Talent attraction over the next 5 years. The companies that get it right will survive and prosper, but those that don’t will be stifled by the lack of resource available

Do you foresee any issues that Welsh business will be facing in the short/medium/long term?

Yes, access to qualified resources, Gen Z demands on the employer, UK government applying greater pressure on the employer/employee liabilities and the promotion of Wales as an International location to do business with

Do you have any predictions in regards to the impact of Brexit on your sector?

For the recruitment sector the dynamic of understanding supply and demand of and on resources is key. I suspect generally that trading with Europe may become more difficult in the short term but a good service/solution should ultimately prevail if we are persistent to overcome local economic and political differences

What do you think Wales’ strengths and weaknesses are as a place to do business?

Strengths – Government and Finance Wales support, Networking opportunities, positive attitude

Weakness – International recognition, access to qualified skills/staff

What can Wales do to attract more inward investment?

We need to create pillars of excellence in a number of sectors. IT is lacking access to the volume of talent required by thr market. Building this presence will attract international recognition and resource for the local business community

What skills should the education system be promoting to the next generation?

IT, AI, Robotics, Communications and the basics of English and Mathematics (is not all about the mobile device, there are many instances where a personal interaction makes the difference)

How important is it for there to be a close relationship between business and higher education in Wales?

Essential if we are to establish the skills that business needs in employees going forward. Business needs to advise of its longer term requirements but the link between business and education is key to deliver the lifeblood of capable employees into the community and the entrepreneurs of the future