Tonight sees the next installments of Gerry Robinson’s television program on Channel 4 called ‘Gerry’s Big Decision’. Basically he reviews a number of failing businesses in a view to invest in them to save from failing during the credit crunch.
I was expecting to not enjoy the program but actually found it very entertaining and a good eye opener into a different industry. Last week he was looking to save brewers and ended up investing in both businesses giving each a couple of hundred thousand pounds so they could prosper. For a man used to working in huge multinationals such as Granada, Coca-cola and Granada I was impressed at how involved he was with what is, for him at least, a risk. His biggest problem in last the last show was finding true leadership in the businesses he was trying to save and in both cases the wife was better suited to the role of leading the company.
There is nothing like looking at failure in the face and having to fight it and it was the women who understood this while their husbands continued to believe it would get better without changing anything. They were better at making tough decisions and managing staff while the men seemed to find it difficult to separate their business relationships.
One thing I do want to be clear on, which appears to be ignored by the press, is that Gerry is taking a controlling stake in these companies in return for his funds. So while the companies now have a future their original founders are no longer significant shareholders and Gerry looks to significantly profit from their success. A job made much easier by getting national television coverage!
Does this make Gerry to be an entrepreneur? No. Simply he is a business man doing what a business man does best. An entrepreneur in my eye starts something from scratch and builds a new company offering something unique. Therefore an entrepreneur is unemployable as they want to do it their way, whereas I am sure there will be hundreds of businesses out there eager for Gerry to come and work for them.