Magazine article Management Today

If I Had to Start Again ... Steve Gilman

Magazine article Management Today

If I Had to Start Again ... Steve Gilman

Article excerpt

I was born a retailer, so whatever I did would have to involve people. I love the customer contact. That's probably why I joined the police force for a year, although that turned out to be just a diversion.

At 13, I started working on a market stall in Buxton, Derbyshire, selling fruit and veg. I wanted to get on with life, so instead of university I got a job in a bank. It was so boring. Then I joined the police. This was 30 years ago, when the Met wasn't a particularly nice place to be, and I wasn't really right for it. Even today, I'm much better at coaching than policing.

If you'd told me then that I would end up building a business in China, I'd have thought you were joking. I was 15 before I met my first Chinese person - when a Hong Kong family moved to Buxton and ran our local chippie. But B&Q Asia has been a fantastic experience. I've been privileged to see such change there over the past 13 years.

I like the Chinese. I enjoy their company and sense of humour. …

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