About Me, Robin Eyre
Believe it or not, that was me on the home page and this is the part where you can learn all about Robin Eyre. Lucky you! Below is a potted history of me and my interests. Accompanying this are some photos in the gallery tab. For those interested you can also visit my LinkedIn profile.
I am also the Chairman of Business Peak District, a local business organisation (the clue’s in the name) which seeks to be a voice for businesses in the region. With over 600 members we liaise frequently with our partners the likes of which are Derbyshire Dales District Council, Derbyshire County Council, High Peak and Staffordshire Moorlands, Marketing Peak District and Derbsyhire, and the National Park Authority.
I am MBA qualified and an Ironman triathlete and my skills, interests and experience have been in business strategy, general management and market development. I’ve worked for 11 years in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, speak five languages proficiently (though a little rusty now perhaps), and was on the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Mobile Council and sat as a DMA Awards judge.
How would I describe myself? Fun loving, active and outgoing. What more could you want?
I’ve done more than your average amount of travelling. Not as a traveller backpacking around the world but actually working overseas. Far much more fulfilling and interesting, you get to know the people and culture rather than just the hotel staff.
After school I took a gap year. It began with me teaching English as a volunteer at Janapremee English Secondary School in Bhaktapur, Nepal, where the wonderful Rabi Acharya is the headman. I ended up sponsoring a girl to go to the school and she’s done incredibly well, now working in the States as a qualified nurse. I’m ever so impressed and delighted for her.
I have an undergraduate degree in Southeast Asian Studies and Language from Hull University during which I also spent a year at Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, learning bahasa, doing research for my thesis and working at Glaxo Smith Kline as an intern conducting market research. A few years later I did an MBA in business strategy at Bradford University School of Management. Both were great fun and I can highly recommend both schools.
I have developed a career in business strategy, analysis, marketing and development and general management in Southeast Asia and the Middle East returning home to the UK in 2010. I’ve spent 11 years working overseas.
Business Strategy, Analysis and Development
Business Day Newspaper, Bangkok: wrote daily articles for an English language paper, including lead and front page; key skills included being able to dive in and swim in the deep end – immediately, research and writing. Sectors covered retail, property, manufacturing, automotive and construction.
British Trade Office, Lao PDR (now British Embassy): “Our man in Laos”, helping British businesses do business in the Lao PDR. Wrote Tailored Market Reports for individual clients on market entry and development, and Sector Summaries for the Department of Trade; established the Lao British Business Group; liaised with the Lao government; coordinated and chaired meetings with other embassies and the multi-lateral organisations. Work also included dispersing aid and managing projects, and political and economic reporting.
Kalon Decorative Products, Leeds: MBA thesis, distinction, ‘Redefining the Sundries Strategy’; Kalon is a manufacturer of decorating products: paints (Johnstone’s ‘No Ordinary Paint’ and Leyland) and sundries (Mangers and Vallance brands and fillers, adhesives, rollers, tools etc). They required someone to take a strategic look at its structure, profitability and direction, concluding with recommendations.
Digital Document Solutions, Dubai, UAE: developed a marketing plan for sales and franchising / licensing for a digital print and software company while winning major printing accounts with the likes of Microsoft significantly increasing the company’s income.
Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone, RAK, UAE: the Free Zone had experienced rapid growth since its inception and required someone to take a strategic look at its direction and how it could achieve its aims.
Construction Specialties, Dubai, UAE: introduced a new product into the market and set up a distribution network consisting of traders and manufacturers of similar, complimentary products.
Loop (Thailand), Bangkok, Thailand: wrote the Dealer Manual for a start up business looking to sell its furniture packages through a network of dealers around the country; included marketing methods, product lines, use of the company’s intranet and installation processes.
Collstream, Derby, UK: Marketing Manager for a fast growing IT business, specialists in SMS, voice messaging, email and IVR solutions for business. Established the marketing department; wrote the first and subsequent marketing plans identifying priority markets and targeting businesses through a variety of online and offline channels; keen interest in analysis and measuring progress; major input into new sales: 40% of converted sales directly attributable to marketing activity; excellent editorial skills: entered the business, and finalists for, six prestigious national awards including Deloitte Technology Fast 50, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and National Business Awards.
Frost & Sullivan, London: researched the market for sales of planetary gearboxes ex-Europe for a major European gearbox manufacturer giving recommendations on potential opportunities and pitfalls.
BMRS Asia, Bangkok, Thailand: Managed a project for a major money transfer client wanting to better understand the role and meaning of money transfer from outside the country to friends and family in the country. Advised the client on current transfer methods, marketing opportunities and opinions of clients.
Equitech (Laos), Savannakhet, Lao PDR: set up one of the world’s largest bio diesel businesses consisting of 2,700 farmers and 6,500 hectares of jatropha. Working in the Lao language, negotiated and concluded farming and growing contract while marketing the opportunity to local, provincial authorities. Included all the usual duties of establishing a business: offices, staff, communications and paperwork.
Duro Products, Bangkok, Thailand: General Manager of a uPVC window and door manufacturing company; responsibile for all aspects of running the business: advising the directors on management, sales, marketing, performance, production, installation and cash flow; assessed and implemented methods of process improvement, bonus schemes and rewards, and greatly improved communications throughout the business
I enjoy rugby, triathlons and squash. Pictures available in the gallery page. I’ve played rugby for Hull University, the British Club Bangkok, Vientiane Buffalos (founding member), Mekong Pirates (founding member), Dubai Exiles and RAK Goats (re-established it). I’m an Ironman triathlete having completed the Outlaw Triathlon, Nottingham, July 2013. I’ve also completed half-Ironmans (should that be Ironmen?), Olympic distance and less-long events including the Laguna Phuket, Dubai triathlon and the one or two in the UK.
I also do the Hash. For those who don’t know what hashing is, it’s not tokin’ weed, but short for the Hash House Harriers, a running club with ‘kennels’ around the world. If you’re ever going to a new country or town to live and want to meet people, join the hash (or rugby club etc – whatever). Links on the links page. I am currently the GM of the Ashbourne Hash.
My tastes in music vary considerably. I like the usual Robbie Williams, Jamiroquai, David Gray, Van Morrisson, Snoop Dogg and so on. Living overseas I really got into the local music in Thai, Lao and Malay. I can’t remember any Arabic artists but I’m sure there are one or two songs I’d remember if I heard them. Artists include:
- Thai / Lao (as you may notice they’re all mor lam)
- ‘Bird’ Tongchai McIntyre
- Rock Saderd
- Banyen Rakaen
- Sheila Majid