David Marks, Managing Director, Levity Crop Science – winner of the Business Person of the Year category at the BIBAs 2018
What was your motivation to enter the BIBAs 2018? Had you entered the BIBAs before? If so, what made you want to enter again?
Levity has been successful in several other awards, and we have found it a good way to raise the companies profile and to give confidence to our trading partners. This was the first time we had entered the BIBAs, as we wanted to wait until the business had developed enough for us to have a good chance.
How did you find the BIBAs 2018 application process? How did the application form make think about your business?
The initial application was straight forwards, and it does make you think about how to succinctly describe your business.
What were your impressions of the first round of BIBAs 2018 judging, the face-to-face interviews?
How did you involve the rest of your business in this process? Did the questions you were asked by the judges make you think differently about your business?
The judges were friendly, and asked fairly probing questions which made it an engaging process. We were up for two awards, and the team sat down over a coffee and discussed what our strengths are ahead of the interviews.
What was your experience of ‘The BIBAs On Tour’ second round of judging? What did this give you the ability to show the judges that you couldn’t show in your application or interview? How did your workforce get involved in this process?
It gave the judges to see us in a more normal environment, and they took the opportunity top split up and talk to staff members about how they see the company. I think talking to the rest of the team was a good idea, and probably worked in our favour as we run a happy ship at Levity. It was a bit of a whirlwind stop though so you don’t get long to impress.
How has the BIBAs 2018 judging process changed the way you look at your business? Is there anything your business is doing differently as a result of something you learnt from the judging process?
It certainly made us think about how we target new markets, why we work in the markets we operate in, and what we should consider ahead of starting up business in new export markets. We have a small team, so we have to pick our opportunities carefully.
When you heard your name announced at the BIBAs 2018 awards night, how did you feel?
Astonished. I really was not expecting my name to read out, and had to pop my jacket back on! I was really pleased to pick up the award I did (Business Person of the Year) and felt very proud to be selected in such a competitive category. The bad loser in me was still annoyed at not winning the other one though, but there is always next year. That is a motivation to get even better.
How will you use your success at the BIBAs 2018 to promote your business, motivate your workforce, grow your business?
We work in international markets, and when you get an award it builds confidence with prospective customers. We only have to look at the analytics on Twitter, Linked In etc to see that when we posted up the news we got good feedback from all over the world. It helps instil pride not only in our own team, but also our distributors.