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London Loves Excellence Awards winners: These are London’s best businesses and entrepreneurs

by LLB Reporter
16th Oct 15 9:16 am

Celebrating business excellence and success

In last night’s glittering ceremony, the winners of the 2015 London Loves Excellence Awards were announced.

Six businesses and two individuals were handed awards for excelling in areas like profitability, innovation and culture. The awards were kindly sponsored by JRL, Fresh Direct, Grange Hotels  and Ed’s Easy Diner.

Ross Williams, co-founder, Venntro, was named Entrepreneur of the Year. Ross started his first business when he was just 14-years-old, buying and selling magazines to his school friends. A few years later and he founded Rawnet, a highly successful digital agency that’s still around today. And now he’s at the helm of Venntro, a software business that provides services to more than 45 million consumers globally, and recorded pre-tax profits of £2.3m for 2014.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t attend the awards ceremony because he is on his honeymoon but he did send us an acceptance speech in style. Take a look at it below.

The night saw powerful speeches by awards director and Casis Media CEO Mike Bokaie, and chair of the awards Tony Matharu, formerly managing director of Grange Hotels, now at Blue Orchid Hotels.

Co-hosted by LondonLovesBusiness editor Shruti Tripathi Chopra and special projects editor Rebecca Hobson, the awards celebrated business superstars across London.

The awards were judged by some of the biggest names in business including former Dragons’ Den star Hilary Devey CBE, Baroness Michelle Mone CBE, James Timpson OBE and Grange Hotels boss Tony Matharu among others.

Among the celebrated businesspeople who attended the awards were Antal International CEO Tony Goodwin, Ed’s Easy Diner boss Stephen Greene and Bright Ideas Trust founder Tim Campbell MBE among others.

Here are the winners in full:

Financial Services

Winner: Crowdcube

Since its launch in February 2011, more than 190,000 investors have joined Crowdcube, and 2015 is proving to be its biggest year yet. This year alone, the crowdfunding platform has raised £41m of equity finance and funded over 84 businesses.

Creative Industries

Winner: Chalk Social

Situated in the heart of London’s Silicon Roundabout, Chalk Social is just two years old, but already making its mark as a digital agency. It counts Universal Music and Lebara Mobile as clients and more than doubled staff last year. Its year two growth has been phenomenal, with turnover quadrupling to £1.3m. Today, Chalk Social is on track to increase turnover to £7m, and net profit to £1.5m for 2015.

Highly Commended: Gekko

This Berkshire-based marketing agency was founded in 2002 by a team eager to bring innovative field marketing to the electronics sector. Since then, Gekko has gone on to work with household brands like Apple, Samsung, Toshiba and Acer. In 2014 the agency began expanding into new sectors through its appointment of brands like Hive and Karcher.  Last year’s turnover, meanwhile, reached £9.1m, with pre-tax profits of £1.5m.

Manufacturing & Engineering

Winner: Tangle Teezer

This disruptive hairbrush manufacturer has changed the way people comb their hair all around the world. Listed as a Sunday Times Fast Track 100 company for the last two years, Tangle Teezer currently sells 850,000 units per month and turned over £23.5m pounds in 2014. All for a company that’s just six years old.

Retail & Property

Winner: Wyldecrest Parks

With 44 residential and holiday mobile home parks spread across the UK, Wyldecrest is now one of the largest park home operators in Britain. In recent years the business has grown by a minimum of 25% year on year, and 2015 is proving to be no exception. Over the last 12 months the company has bought 14 new residential and holiday mobile home parks.

Technology & Telecoms

Winner: NetDespatch

This softwar- as-a-service data management platform provides must-have services for the Royal Mail, Asendia, New Zealand Post, Yodel and UKMail, as well as firms like Amazon, eBay, Tesco and 100,000 plus small businesses in 114 countries worldwide. In 2014 it grew turnover by 30%, and boosted profits by a massive 360%.

Business Services

Winner: Pimlico Plumbers

Founded by the world’s most famous plumber, Charlie Mullins OBE, Pimlico Plumbers is now turning to retail since opening its first plumbing and heating merchants in October 2014. The merchant business has since gone from strength to strength, with turnover rising from £10m in 2008 to £20m in 2014.

Highly Commended: Antal International

This multi-disciplinary recruitment firm helps companies across 30 countries find the people they need to grow their business. Since launching in 1993, Antal International has opened 120 offices worldwide, and now turns over £14m. The team behind Antal put their success down to a shared vision that centres on sharing information, knowledge and experience for the benefit of clients, candidates and colleagues.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Winner: Reza Merchant, The Collective

Reza Merchant

Reza launched The Collective in 2010, as a response to London’s housing crisis. Thanks to his innovative vision, run-down buildings across London have been transformed into affordable and hassle-free living spaces for young professionals. Under Reza’s leadership, turnover at The Collective has doubled and the business has consistently made a profit.

Entrepreneur of the Year

Winner: Ross Williams, Venntro

The judges were blown away by how Ross Williams built Venntro from scratch, without any external funding whatsoever. They admired and praised his flair for business and intuition for spotting gaps in the market. Ross has grown Venntro to become the largest privately-owned dating company in Europe and the world’s fastest growing privately-owned online dating provider.


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