IoD Sussex Ambassador Introduction
IoD Sussex are pleased to be represented by IoD Ambassadors who are specialists in their fields. Our Ambassadors lead in their field, whilst also promoting the benefits of IoD membership and the CPD route to Chartered Director.
Below you will find an introduction to one of our highly valued Ambassadors who would be pleased to connect with you via Twitter or LinkedIn.
Your name: Alistair Elder
Your title/role and company name: Managing Partner, SGI Partners Ltd
Your IoD branch: Sussex
Your IoD branch Ambassador role: International Trade
Your social media handles: Linkedin
Q: How long have you been involved with the IoD?
I have been a member since 2017.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your career to date?
My career began in 1989 when I joined the FCO and I moved to the private sector in 2005. This blend of knowledge and experience I would hope would be helpful in achieving IoD objectives. My diplomatic service journey covered 16 years across a number of roles and countries with my final posting being Trade Development in India where I supported over 90 businesses in achieving trading status.
The private sector called in 2005, working in both Prime and SME environments and holding several ED/NED positions. I lived and worked across Middle East, India and Asia Pacific and managed operations and clients across over 50 markets.
I have enjoyed many aspects of the various roles over the years including having driven key market entry, transformation, start-up and client engagement programmes that delivered organisational success and shareholder value. I also developed and implemented over 20 key initiatives to improve engagement, delivery and drive revenues while managing costs. Leading client and BD efforts from the front was also rewarding particularly the experience of managing teams of 5-100 people across multiple cultures and timezones.
I lived in India for over 7 years and the UAE for almost 8, returning to the UK in 2016 to work for a members organisation (ADS Group) before setting up my own business, SGI Partners.
I have been consulting since 2017, with clients valuing the support provided on strategy, business planning, market assessment and entry, governance, partner identification, M&A, client engagement and also bid management.
Q: What do you hope to achieve as an IoD Regional Ambassador?
Living and working overseas for over 20 years has been a privilege and provided me with first-hand knowledge of a wide range of cultures, regulatory environments and people – both in terms of clients and also teams. I hope to use this experience to provide a platform for members to share their thoughts on the challenges of trading and support them in that through the IoD.
Q: If you could give your 21 year old self some advice what would it be?
Focus on the most important things, not everything.
Q: What keeps you busy outside of work?
I enjoy spending time with the family visiting places of interest. Having lived overseas for many years it is nice to be a tourist in my own country for a change. I like to run and have completed several marathons and ultras. I am also a Governor at a Junior Academy near Horsham.
Q: Are there any business related or policy issues that keep you awake at night?
The opportunities for international trade keep me awake in a positive sense. The challenges facing business around sustainable revenues, political continuity and economic stability are ever-present.
Q: Why do you think business leaders should join the IoD?
The IoD has many elements that are excellent. The biggest thing for me is meeting like-minded people. But there are so many things to enjoy ranging from events, the CPD training, membership of Advance, use of the IAS, having a fantastic place like Pall Mall to meet or just think and finally the members benefits offered by a range of companies including Hiscox.