PCR throws the spotlight on 30 rising stars aged under 30. We present the top young talent in the PC and tech industry, from retail buyers to account managers, marketing and PR executives and even MDs…
SAM BINKS, 25 PC HARDWARE CATEGORY MANAGER, BT BUSINESS DIRECT/DABS.COM
Binks has become an integral category manager at IT and technology etailer Dabs.com since moving from marketing in 2011. His first two years managing gaming, peripherals and software resulted in solid growth across Dabs.com and in late 2013 earned him a promotion to lead category manager for PC Hardware across the business. He manages some of the biggest vendors in IT. His colleagues describe him as hard working, driven, dependable and well respected amongst his peers and key people across the industry.
JAKE BREACH, 24 SENIOR MARKETING EXECUTIVE, ACER UK
Since joining the Acer UK marketing team almost three years ago, Breach has made a strong, valuable contribution. His solid business acumen and technical knowledge make him a trusted reliable member of the team. He has specific responsibility for customer relationship and budget management of multiple etailer accounts; ensuring best spend of ROI, creating and executing online and offline marketing campaigns such as Acer’s successful eBay store during the 2013 ‘Back to School’ period. Breach also regularly briefs trade press and reviewers on new products via publishing house tours.
IAIN BRISTOW, 27 NORTHERN EUROPE MARKETING, AMD
Bristow has been instrumental in the huge success AMD Northern Europe has shared over the past year. He has remained a reliable, efficient and consistent figure in an ever- changing team providing much needed stability. More than this however, he has turned his hand to other key areas such as sales, PR, technical support and finance, whilst delivering marketing support with the firm’s customers. AMD’s most successful global marketing message was Bristow’s brainchild, and one which saw him win recognition for from AMD’s CEO himself.
RYAN BROWN, 23 HEAD SYSTEM BUILDER, UTOPIA COMPUTERS
Brown is passionate about the industry and has been key to predicting market trends, which has allowed Utopia to stay ahead of it competitors. He designed and built the CRYO-G PC from the ground up, which reached second place in Custom PC’s Dream PC feature, only narrowly beaten by Scan’s offering which was twice the price. He is an overclocking expert and what colleagues call ‘Utopia’s answer to 8-Pack’. Last year Brown built multiple critically acclaimed systems, gaining prestigious industry awards such as Custom PC Premium Grade, Micro Mart Editor’s Choice and Vortez Gold.
SIMON BUCKINGHAM, 26 MARKETING MANAGER, HAMA UK
Having graduated in 2011, with seven years in retail and two years in event marketing roles under his belt, Simon now finds himself heading up the marketing department for the UK subsidiary of distributor Hama. His role consists of increasing brand awareness for Hama and the other 30-plus brands it distributes, from advertising and PR to in-store POS design and solutions. He has developed digital marketing strategies on existing social media platforms, whilst adding LinkedIn, Tumblr and YouTube to showcase products and share what Hama’s brands are up to.
STEPHANIE CHURCH, 22 MARKETING EXECUTIVE, SIMMS INTERNATIONAL
Since Church joined Simms in January 2013 she has been responsible for creating and managing targeted campaigns with the marketing manager in line with company objectives. She is an integral part of the marketing team and her enthusiasm, drive and passion for technology means she always has her finger on the pulse with what is happening in the market. Working closely with partners and strategic vendors such as Kingston Technology, IronKey by Imation, BlockMaster and SafeXs, she works hard and efficiently executes programmes to increase brand awareness and sales.
BEN DAVIES, 29 SALES TEAM LEADER, ENTATECH
Moving from his account manager position to sales team leader, Davies now manages a team of five at the distributor and is responsible for setting up new customers and developing business. Upon his new appointment, he has successfully mentored his team and increased the number of trade applications processed per month. As an important member of Entatech’s sales department, Davies has continually built up excellent relationships with customers and has a proven track record of consistently hitting targets month-on-month.
STEFAN FERRAI, 26 TECHNICAL CONSULTANT, SYNOLOGY
Although Ferrai started his career selling server environments, he made a change to IT support in the healthcare sector, training for electronic patient systems in the hospice industry. He then became IT manager for a group of care homes and was in charge of project roll out, staff training and network management. Ferrai joined networking vendor Synology in August 2013 and was soon flying high, not only working on the technical help desk, but attending channel partner training days and working on exhibition booths around the UK and Scandinavia.
ASHLEY FRANCIS, 26 DISTRIBUTION ACCOUNT MANAGER, VIP COMPUTERS
Since joining VIP Computers in February 2013, Francis has become an excellent account manager, driven by delivering the best service and care to his customer base. He has also been a key player in the promotion and growth of VIP Club which was launched last year and supports independent retailers in their day-to-day business with training on new products as well as exclusive dscounted offers. Over the past 12 months, Francis has developed key vendor relationships, resulting in a 93 per cent increase in revenue since July 2013.
LAUREN GRAHAM, 21 ASSISTANT BUYER – PC, ARGOS
Graham has been with Argos for two years, having joined its Banbury Cross store after leaving full-time education. Lauren’s role is to activate the promotional programme for Argos’ PC range, which requires strong negotiation and organisational skills. The plan she developed for Argos’ most recent autumn/winter 2013 PC range contributed to positive growth within the sector. Graham is warm, friendly and easy-going. She is a super-fast learner with experience across PC, tablets and e-readers and has become an indispensable member of the trading team.
DANIEL GRIFFIN, 27 CATEGORY MANAGER TECH DATA LIMITED
Since joining Tech Data in 2010, Griffin quickly moved up in the company to his current role of category manager. Working within Azlan, the specialist enterprise division of Tech Data, He supports a large number of vendors and channel partners including Brocade, Zyxel, Netgear and PowerDsine. He is a real team player and his efforts and contribution has helped deliver 60 per cent growth year-on-year in Tech Data’s PoE (power over ethernet) solution offering, and 40 per cent growth with one of its fastest-growing networking vendors, Brocade.
CAROLINE HODGSON, 27 BRAND MANAGER, BT SHOP
Hodgson joined Dabs.com as marketing executive in 2010 and has gone on to lead the BT branded consumer business unit – BT Shop – to huge growth in the last two years. Offering the entire Dabs.com portfolio of products, as well as the expansive range of BT devices, BT Shop services BT consumers with a huge IT offering. Hodgson manages the entire BT portfolio commercially as well as creating all marketing assets and materials for direct marketing and BT.com-fronted campaigns. In the last year she has also integrated directly with key vendors to launch new products with tier one vendors.
LIANNE HUNTER, 27 ACCOUNT MANAGER, HARVARD PR
Hunter is responsible for the day to day UK PR for Harvard PR clients including Archos, Nvidia and Sennheiser. In 2013 she successfully helped her clients launch a range of flagship products including the Nvidia Shield and the GTX 700 series, alongside key gaming bundle deals, Archos’ first range of smartphones, the GamePad 2 and various new tablet ranges, working closely with distributors to highlight exclusive deals.With Sennheiser she was instrumental in the launch of the Momentum On-Ear headphone range and the G4ME headset range. In her three years at Harvard she has forged close relationships with clients.
GEMMA IRONSIDE, 29 MAJOR ETAIL ACCOUNT MANAGER, SMITHIE UK
Ironside joined Smithie UK two years ago as a temp admin assistant with no previous IT experience. It was not long before she was praised for her attention to detail, efficient work and the fantastic professional relationships she built up. Ironside is now responsible for a number of major accounts such as Amazon. She also handles 23 per cent of Smithie UK’s business monthly. Her fellow colleagues say she is very dedicated and a delight to work with, having won employee of the year in 2013. One staff member said:“She really is our little Gem.”
TOM KEARNS, 24 MARKETING EXECUTIVE, CENTERPRISE INTERNATIONAL
Kearns joined UK IT provider Centerprise International over two years ago after graduating with a 2:1 degree in Business Studies with Marketing from Bournemouth University. As well as his work in the reseller sector, where he focuses on Centerprise’s core distribution brands Panasonic Toughbook and Panasonic Toughpad, he is also responsible for a number of marketing initiatives in the public and private sectors. This includes online and print marketing as well as events, exhibitions and PR.
HAYLEY KEARTON, 24 BUSINESS SUPPORT ADMINISTRATOR, VEHO
Kearton joined UK consumer electronics brand Veho in January 2013 after graduating from Portsmouth University with a mathematics degree. After a short while she soon became a key part of Veho’s accounts team. As part of that team she takes responsibility for the management of a number of international orders. As well as this, Kearton also spends time building lasting relationships with the brand’s customers. Kearton’s work in preparing and reviewing KPI statistics has assisted in the continued growth of the company.
STEVEN LIGHTFOOT JNR, 27 PARTNER, PUDSEY COMPUTERS
Lightfoot looks after a seven-figure online retail department at Pudsey Computers. This involves helping the company achieve a 31 per cent increase in revenue last year, and a forecasted further 40 per cent growth this year. He has already completed a three-year stint as purchasing and marketing director of Network Group, the UK IT buying group, and is also co-founder of the Exist2Game, a UK indie gaming event that takes place in various computer retailer stores up and down the country to bring professional and casual gamers together.
ADRIAN LIU, 28 UK CHANNEL MARKETING, COOLER MASTER EUROPE
Having established the new portfolio of Cooler Master Mobile accessories and making it a successful product range in UK, Liu has also grown component and gaming accessories brand CM Storm within the UK Channel. He became UK channel marketing executive in June 2013 and is responsible for all partners and distributors within the UK. Liu has also supported events such as Gadget Show Live and i-Series. He has been instrumental in supporting the launch of several product ranges into the channel such as Cosmos 2, Cosmos SE, V8 GTS, Vanguard PSU, Notepal Laptop coolers and more.
SAMEHRA MALIK, 28 REGIONAL MARKETING MANAGER, NVIDIA
After two and a half years at Nvidia, Malik continues to push the brand’s image forward within the UK and Ireland. In 2013 alone she has successfully driven the launch of the GeForce GTX 700 Series and Titan amongst others. She works closely with games developers and distributors to roll out successful bundles, in order to drive hardware sales and maintain excitement within the industry. Prior to Nvidia, she worked at an SME named JetNexus on UK B2B marketing whilst also taking responsibility for expanding its channel partner programs to the US. Before this she undertook the role of retail management at Three UK Ltd.
PETER MATHER, 22 UK MANAGER, ESL
Extremely experienced in the world of professional gaming and previously a pro gamer himself, Mather is now key to the success of ESL (Electronic Sports League) UK – the UK arm of the largest eSports tournament in the world, offering eSports competitions in more than 46 countries. Mather has already made huge successes in the advancement of professional gaming in the UK, having worked closely with event organisers to grow and expand tournaments at offline events across the UK as well as establishing community hubs.
CHRIS NEWTON, 26 CONSUMER MARKETING EXECUTIVE, DABS.COM
Newton joined in 2011 as consumer marketing executive, managing Dabs.com’s email marketing to over one million customers. Since then his role has evolved to include running all social media outlets as well as filming, directing and editing videos used by Dabs.com. In the last 12 months alone he has increased the Dabs.com facebook following by over 400 per cent to more than 100,000 fans, and driven its YouTube channel to over 1.1 million views. This unique video content has resulted in brands utilising his skills to create powerful social content to increase sales on Dabs.com.
CAS PATON,29 MD, ONBUY AND ONTOP MEDIA
Paton is the MD of many businesses, but is well known for his success with OnTop Media – a web design, web development and ecommerce solutions company. His entrepreneurial career has taken him to all new ventures including the conception and launch of British online marketplace OnBuy, which aims to be a British alternative to Amazon. It deals exclusively with third-party sellers who trade through the website, so it never competes with its own sellers. Paton was nominated for 30 under 30 by OnBuy staff “because he’s got the stones to go for it”.
MARK PURDY, 23 MARKETING MANAGER/ GRAPHIC DESIGN, OVERCLOCKERS UK
As an avid PC gamer, Purdy joined Overclockers UK in 2010 as its first dedicated graphic designer. With a thirst for learning, he took on various roles at the company including purchasing and marketing, with the latter enabling him to combine his design and product knowledge. Purdy is also responsible for helping to organise various events including Gadget Show and the Multiplay iSeries. As well as this, he looks after product launches, press releases and works on building strong relations with the media.
BEN RALPH, 29 MD, WIZIWOO
Ralph founded online retailer Wiziwoo in September 2010. He runs all parts of the business from purchasing, sales, customer care, marketing, advertising, promotions, development, returns, accounts, refurbishing and more. He started by selling small PC/electrical items on eBay and Amazon. In June 2012, Wiziwoo became a limited company and continued to grow. In September 2012 the company won the top prize in Kaspersky’s high performance club and enjoyed a taste of high-value motorsport sponsorship, with Wiziwoo Limited’s logo featuring prominently on the Kaspersky Ferrari 458 Italia racing car.
CHARLOTTE SHONE, 24 RETAIL ACCOUNT MANAGER, PANDA SECURITY
Shone joined Panda Security last summer with the remit of growing the retail sales channel for its consumer range for PC, Mac and Android devices. She has developed relationships with existing distributors Blue Solutions and Westcoast, while opening conversations with Exertis Gem, as well as getting Panda Security solutions prominently placed in superstores, online stores and on TV shopping channels. Tony Lee, MD of Panda Security UK & Ireland, said: “Charlotte is proving herself an excellent addition to the UK sales team.”
NEIL SMITH, 26 CATEGORY MANAGER FOR PC/IT AND NON-GAMING SOFTWARE, EXERTIS GEM
Smith moved from Trust, where he held the position of national account manager, to distributor Exertis Gem in 2012. He has excelled in his role within the company, first managing consumer electronics and now the IT/PC and non-gaming software category. This involves managing Logitech, McAfee and Symantec among a number of others. Smith is known to all who deal with him as meticulous, forward thinking, and levelheaded. He has been described as being extremely well liked by his vendors.
JOSS SPINKS, 24 MARKETING MANAGER, THE IT MARKETING AGENCY
Spinks joined The IT Marketing Agency in October. The role was a step up and gave him the opportunity to take on more responsibility, develop his skills and get more deeply involved in the IT channel, all while working in the hectic environment of a new start up business. He is hardworking, diligent, customer focused and would never let the business or its customers down. Spinks works on the firm’s flagship account, Avnet Embedded, where he has taken on the day to day campaign management and execution.
TOM STEVENS, 25 ACCOUNT MANAGER, TARGET COMPONENTS
Stevens began his career at distributor Target Components as a business development executive fresh out of Birmingham University. He rapidly became extremely competent at this role and was soon promoted to account manager. He has developed into a well-liked, well-respected and tentative account manager with excellent product knowledge, having developed some key accounts for Target. Stevens genuinely cares about his customers, and regularly takes time out of his weekends and holidays to visit them.
KIERAN VINEER, 25 DISTRIBUTION ACCOUNT MANAGER, TP-LINK
Vineer has revitalised TP-Link’s call out days by adding in exciting new games and ideas to engage the sales teams at all distributors. This proactive approach to enthuse sales reps can clearly be demonstrated in the revenues generated on the day. Since joining TP-Link in May 2013 from Tech Data, he has used his deep understanding of the way distribution works to maximise revenue and become a valuable member of the team. His easy nature means he quickly gelled with the rest of the business to work as a close-knit team. He has also brought a fresh perspective to the business with his ideas and insight.
PAUL YUNG, 27 OPERATIONS ASSISTANT, HANNSPREE
Yung originally joined the consumer electronics manufacturer as a sales assistant in Hannspree’s London concept store, where he was quickly promoted to duty manager. He was appointed to the Hannspree UK headquarters in July 2012 as operations assistant and has proved himself an invaluable asset for Hannspree and a welcome addition to the UK team ever since. Aside from his day-to-day duties of inbound and outbound logistic management, Yung has become Hannspree’s resident ‘geek’, dealing with internal IT systems, product testing and market research.