Christine Bhatt is welcomed as the new Branch Chairman for IoD Essex. Find out more about Christine’s career and IoD experience below.
Christine’s Career Background
Christine Bhatt is a small business owner, having led a management buyout of the company in 2007. The firm, which originally specialised in processing UK agricultural registration data, can trace its roots back to 1972, with Christine joining as Business Development Manager in 2000, then being promoted to Managing Director three years later after successfully doubling the company’s turnover.
Since the MBO, the company has grown three fold in its revenue with a respectable increase of its net profit by 13.9 times. This has been achieved by Christine’s clear vision and drive to grow the company and take calculated risks by entering new markets such as USA, China and Japan – something which is very difficult to achieve within such a specialised sector of the manufacturing industry.
The company’s success has also been helped by Christine’s tendering for new jobs against large companies such as Microsoft, Information Builders to secure new business within the USA, another challenging market to enter into, as the customer base and its requirements are completely different to that of Europe.
Under Christine’s leadership, Systematics has expanded its current service portfolio by finding a niche business opportunity of standardising agricultural vehicle registrations across thirty European countries, enabling customers to make like for like comparisons across all these markets.
Christine’s modernisation of the business has moved its infrastructure and I.T. systems to a new data driven, flexible and user-friendly platform. This has made a positive change to the way all customers’ access data from our system, which has enabled them to grow their businesses in a positive and cost effective manner.
Christine Outside of Work
When time permits, Christine enjoys walking and cycling through the beautiful Essex country lanes giving her much valuable thinking space. She is an advanced driver with the IAM and loves driving fast cars.
Christine also enjoys spending time with her family – evenings and weekends are spent mostly in a cosy kitchen cooking together and talking about the day.
Christine’s IoD Experience
Since joining in 2006, the IoD has kept Christine up to date with unbiased information on various issues, and offered excellent support on various challenges that a small business faces. Working with an international client base, Christine has made use of the meeting facilities at Pall Mall in the heart of London with the Business Centre offering excellent support.
Christine’s Views on Essex
Essex is truly a county of contrast encapsulating everything that is great about the coast and the countryside, our people are from diverse backgrounds making it a welcoming place to live, work or visit. Essex is a very enterprising economy, with many successful business start-up’s and high productivity enterprises with strong international links – by air (Stansted and London Southend) and by sea (including Tilbury, London Gateway and Harwich). Being near to London is also a great advantage with opportunities to tap into local and international business events.
Why did Christine apply to become Chair of IoD Essex?
It is a great honour for Christine to be elected as the Chair for IoD Essex, it is now more important than ever for IoD members to guide their organisations through the turbulent times that we as a business community face, making implementation of sound business practises a must for all our organisations. We will face many challenges during the BREXIT negotiations and coming together as a business community will help develop our current and future requirements for the benefits of the industries that we work with.
Christine’s Hopes for IoD Essex
Christine sees the following as challenges for businesses in Essex:
- Raising skills and qualifications – understanding employee skills gaps and how organisations can be supported to address this?
- Developing sectors such as advanced manufacturing, energy renewables, health care, digital and creative services, financial and business services where future growth is prevalent
- Promoting diversity in organisations, the tech industry that Christine works with is well aware of this issue, women, people of colour, veterans, people with disabilities are well under represented in this sector – perhaps organisations can address this by working with education authorities and understanding how to empathise with people from different backgrounds.
Christine hopes to achieve the following over her next 3 years as Chair of IoD Essex:
- An understanding what members want from the IoD so as a branch, we can serve their needs better.
- To encourage new members to join the IoD enabling them to tap into a vast support network with access to a very high standard of professional development.
IoD Essex and the rest of the IoD team wish Christine all the best for her term as Chair. To contact Christine Bhatt pleaseemail the IoD Essex branch administrator.