Founded in 1987, In-Form Consult was already considered to be an innovative business in the information management field, but changes to the market, a management buy-out and company restructuring all encouraged managing director Jagjit Sigh to focus on more ambitious growth plans. He says,“Although IFC was recognised as an industry leader, I knew that we had a lot more potential in this rapidly growing market. The restructuring process had already enabled us to identify the key areas to focus on and where we wanted to take the business overall, but next we would need to take some big steps to make it happen.” When Jagjit was introduced to the mentoring programme run by The FSE Group, one of the mentoring organizations working in partnership with the Get Mentoring scheme, he didn’t hesitate in taking the opportunity to gain some additional support and a fresh perspective: “Despite the company approaching its 25th year in business, I knew we were entering unchartered territory in terms of our ambitions for growth. I realised the opinions and expertise of someone with extensive experience of leading a company through periods of growth would be of great value to us as a business, and to me personally.” Jagjit was matched with Knowledge Exchange mentor Cecilia Kragsterman in January 2011. As a former Chief Executive of one of the major companies in a global financial services group, Cecilia brought a level of knowledge and depth of understanding that IFC did not have within the company. She also brought an external third party perspective that proved invaluable. Jagjit says: “At the time I was introduced to Cecilia, our plans were already in place. It is however natural to question those decisions when taking your business along a new path. Getting an outside view of our plans and approach, which both challenged and confirmed my thinking and direction, has been an extremely worthwhile process. The mentoring experience allowed me to explore and test ideas prior to implementation and consider further options for future growth. Cecilia also offered reassurance that our plans were robust in terms of depth and understanding, giving me the confidence to progress without any doubt that we were doing the right thing, and even to stretch targets and further accelerate growth.” Jagjit is enthusiastic about the benefits that mentoring has brought both him and his business: “I would highly recommend mentoring, but the trick is to find a mentor with whom you can connect. We have made great progress already this year, IFC has grown and we are operating at a 2658% increase in profits compared to this time last year.” Cecilia is equally enthusiastic about the benefits of mentoring, not only to the recipient and his or her business, but also to the mentor: “I have had the opportunity to have some good mentors during my own career so I know how valuable a mentorship can be both for your own development as well as for the success of the business. Over the years I have been a mentor to a number of great people and businesses and I thoroughly enjoy supporting them to become even more successful. It is very rewarding to help other people grow and succeed and it also gives you an insight into many different sectors and different businesses.”
As a delivery partner for the mentoring scheme set up by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), The FSE Group can provide mentors from the banking sector that are fully sponsored and therefore free of charge. These mentors are fully accredited with experience of small and medium sized businesses gained throughout their banking career. The FSE Group can also provide accredited mentors with specific commercial experience across a wide variety of business sectors including healthcare and medical devices, financial services, the food and beverage industry, electronics, engineering and environmental technologies. Further information is available from Fiona Barringer (01276 607304) or via The FSE Group.