This week we’re talking to Richard Watson of Rapier Systems Ltd.
When and how did you set up the business?
The business was incorporated in 2003 in Basingstoke, Hampshire and I only became a shareholder just over 12 months ago.
What is the business best known for?
Wireless Communications – Specifically Wi-Fi and Wireless LAN & WAN Connectivity. We also uniquely offer performance guarantees with our solutions!
What is the biggest challenge facing business today
In our case it’s lack of understanding or misinformation on the part of the customer. Everyone knows a bit about what it is that we do, but only often enough to make them dangerous to themselves or their business.
You have the gift of hindsight – what tip would you give to your start-up self?
Have more money behind me. The company has a great story but was down on its luck a little when I joined and financial pressure isn’t nice pressure.
Who is your business role model?
Probably someone like Sir Richard Branson, because although he is a serious businessman, he does things in a light hearted and interesting way. Too many businessmen are stuffy and conceited in my opinion.
Does your business use social media? Why?
Yes, our business uses social media. For us it is all about information and this relates to your question about the challenge facing business today. This is therefore one of the ways we are seeking to right this wrong, by providing information and insight into the world we are in.
Chocolate or cheese?
Hmmm, Chocolate, though I do like Scottish Cheddar, Applewood Smoked Cheese and Gruyère!
Where do you get your best ideas from?
Believe it or not, most of my ideas come from listening to what my customer’s main challenges are. This spurs me on to help them overcome these challenges.
Would you win The Apprentice?
I doubt it. The people on that programme don’t seem real to me. I certainly wouldn’t buy anything from most of them.
What’s your guilty secret?
It’s not really a secret, but I do have an uncanny ability to be able to tell where a vehicle is from by looking at the number plate lettering! Weird huh? I also do love anything that moves, so that’s cars, planes, boats, trucks.. You get the idea!
What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on at the moment?
I am working on a project that will deliver Wireless Connectivity in a marine environment and just so you know – Wireless and Water don’t mix that well…!
A bit more about Richard …
Richard has been in the connectivity business all his working life, having started out in the structured cabling sector in the days of Token Ring, IBM twin-axial and RS232 etc., long before today’s Cat5 and Cat6. He moved into the Wireless Technology sector in the late 1990′s and spending his recent career in that space, he is very much focused on helping customers realise the savings in both efficiency and finance that are to be had in embracing this fast changing technology. One of his major achievements was the development of what is still the largest metropolitan area network delivered entirely by wireless technology in Scotland. Richard has had many responsibilities over the years including Installation Engineer, Surveyor / Estimator, Contracts Manager and Business Development roles, so stepping up to senior management level was a logical next step. Richard is based in the central belt of Scotland and has overall responsibility for the direction of the business.