Ambassador profile, James Savage , Independent Director
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Name: James Savage
Position/company: Independent Director
Describe your current role/company:
Acting as a non-executive Director or Advisor to growing technology companies. I have particular interests in ventures in: the South West of England; Green Tech; Deep Tech; and Space Tech.
Previous roles: Lived in Hong Kong from 1994 – 2019. Substantial experience acting as an Independent Director on the boards of 10 technology companies since 2004. Founding Partner of HSBC’s Asian Venture Capital business.
Other information (eg other positions held, charity roles):
- Expert in Residence, Imperial College Enterprise Lab
- Business Review Panelist, SETsquared Bristol
- Member of the Steering Group of Tech West England Advocates
- Previously, Chairman of the Venture Committee of the Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.
Outside work (hobbies/interests):
I am a keen cross-country runner. I average about 25-30 km a week. My wife and I are also keen walkers. We climbed the UK’s second highest peak Ben MacDui in 2021 and we are attempting to complete the 630 mile South West Coastal path.
How long have you been an IoD member?
I have been a member of the IoD since my return to the UK in late 2019. I have been a Chartered Director and Fellow of the IoD since September 2021.
Describe your role as an Ambassador
I see the role as a two-way communication process. Communicating the benefits and comradery of IoD membership to all the members and potential members I meet and communicating the views and wishes of the members to the IoD organisation.
What part of IoD membership do you value most?
As a person who works for many entities not one, the IoD provides me with a lot of the resources and relationships that other people get from their large employers.
What are the top three things about your branch area?
The IoD Southwest has a great team of both staff and Ambassadors. It’s been a tough few years for all membership organisations but everyone remained positive and put a lot of effort into delivering for our local members.
The Southwest covers such a vast and varied geography there is always something new to learn about.
The more time I spend in the Southwest the more I realise what a hidden gem it is. I am excited about its future potential.
If you could give one message to the Prime Minister, what would it be?
Productivity is our biggest problem. We cannot build wealth for all without a significant increase in productivity. That means investment in people and infrastructure and lots of it. From my area of personal expertise, we need to be much quicker at adopting the most efficient, green and technologically advanced solutions.
What are you most looking forward to in the next 12 months?
Getting out into the Southwest region and meeting those exciting new technology businesses that are going to change our futures for the better. Now is the time to build for the recovery.
Looking back, what advice would you give yourself when you started out in business?
Have confidence in your own abilities. If something looks wrong have the courage to say so. Do not be so deferential to those who appear older and wiser. They will appreciate your view from the sharp end. Go where your interests take you, do not be confined by a plan made in your early 20s.