Chamber Patrons

Romania office adds to SCC’s support offering

IT services firm SCC has opened a new headquarters in

the Romanian city of Iași. Romania is home to one of SCC’s Global Delivery

Centres (GDC), which launched in 2006 to provide support to customers. GDCs in Romania and Vietnam now contribute £20m

of revenue to SCC’s overall financial performance. The Romania branch of SCC provides UK and

European customers with 24/7 access to more than 1,200 skilled staff who offer flexible support solutions. The multi-award-winning Romania GDC has benefited

from significant reinvestment, with the opening of its new HQ the latest milestone in its continued growth. An opening ceremony was attended by the UK

Ambassador to Romania, Andrew J Noble, Iasi’s mayor Mihai Chirica and president of the city council Maricel Popa. Sir Peter Rigby, founder and chairman of SCC’s

parent company, the Rigby Group, and SCC chief executive James Rigby hosted the event which was also attended by chief information officers from key SCC customers RAC, Eddie Stobart, Konica Minolta, and The Co-operative Bank. James Rigby said: “Our office locations in SCC

Romania are in university towns, deliberately so, as we want to attract the best young talent for future success. “SCC’s GDCs in both Romania and Vietnam are

Eastern promise: Sir Peter Rigby at the launch of the new HQ in Romania

strategically positioned – geographically and within our business structure – to complement the services operation. The skills available in Romania are unique and are a real differentiator for SCC, as evidenced by the successful, long-term partnerships we’ve built with customers such as those we welcomed at the official opening.”

Grenade boss pulls pin on success

The boss of nutrition brand Grenade shared the secrets of his entrepreneurial journey at an event hosted by Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce. Alan Barratt, whose

entrepreneurial career started by selling Mr Kipling cakes at school, addressed Chamber patrons at University College Birmingham’s new state-of-the-art Moss House building. Mr Barratt told how his passion

for personal training and sports nutrition fuelled his business. After initially selling imported nutritional products with his wife, the couple went on to develop their own range. They devised the formula for the Grenade bar which began retailing in one petrol station – and is now found in 90,000 retail locations across the UK. The name Grenade, he explained,

came from a friend who was training for the special forces who commented that the product tasted “like a grenade had gone off”. Mr Barratt said: “It was really

exciting to connect with local businesses. I’m from Birmingham

Round-up Housing association Midland Heart has secured a £60m finance deal with a major Japanese bank. The loan from Sumitomo

Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) came on the back of news that Midland Heart had retained their A1 Stable credit rating from Moody’s – one of only a handful of UK housing providers to achieve this rating. In order to maintain the A1

Stable rating, Midland Heart needed to demonstrate continued financial discipline. This year,

the firm posted its best operating surplus of £77m, with an operating margin of 35 per cent. Anna Simpson (pictured),

executive director of finance and resources for Midland Heart, said: “It’s encouraging that both Moody’s and our new financial partner SMBC recognise the value of affordable housing as a product to invest in. “Not only do our homes have

guaranteed occupancy and offer a very stable income for investors, they also serve an important social purpose in providing much- needed accommodation for families across the Midlands.”

Mondelez International has acquired a majority stake in Give & Go, a Canadian maker of sweet baked goods. Toronto-based Give & Go is a

leading producer of brownies, cupcakes, pastries and muffins. “Our ambition is to lead the

future of snacking by offering consumers a broad range of snacks in key growth channels and categories,” said Glen Walter, executive vice-president and president, North America, for Mondelez International. “Give & Go’s leading position

in the large and fast-growing in- store bakery channel gives us a unique opportunity to expand into new, on-trend consumer spaces.

“Similar to our recent

Sharing success: Chamber president Steve Allen, Alex Lofthouse, deputy vice- chancellor at UCB, Alan Barratt and Chamber CEO Paul Faulkner

myself and it’s really important that we remember where we came from. “Even though we do business on

a world stage we live in Birmingham and are from Birmingham. I’m super proud to be here and listen to other people’s stories.” The patrons’ lunch took place at

Moss House, a new facility which forms part of a £42m investment into UCB’s campuses.

Its teaching and training facilities

include a 35-metre indoor running track for assessing speed and performance, a strength and conditioning centre, a cutting-edge gym and a human performance laboratory for sports. Nursing and physiotherapy

students have use of a health simulation centre, complete with a replica hospital ward.

acquisitions of Perfect Snacks and Tate’s Bake Shop, this is yet another great example of our bolt-on acquisition strategy to establish foundations in faster growing snacking adjacencies. We look forward to working with Joel Flatt and the entire Give & Go management team to build upon their strong success.” Give & Go is to continue

operating separately but will provide Mondelez with access to consumer and channel insights, procurement and marketing resources.

April 2020 CHAMBERLINK 39

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