We talk to North East chair and partner in Recognition PR, Graham Robb, who reveals what makes his region unique…
Why are you proud to represent the IoD?
The IoD is a high-calibre organisation that takes the views of its members seriously and it’s been pivotal during this recent time of change – the Northern Powerhouse and Devo deals. We’ve represented the business interests of members and put forward a controversial plan to devolve power which is what our members wanted to see happen.
How many members do you represent, and in which sectors?
We represent about 500 members, in multiple sectors in the North East. Within this group we have some very important private owner-managed businesses. I’m very interested in attracting more business leaders from private sectors of the economy.
What is so unique about your region?
What’s so interesting about this region is that it has the greatest percentage of exports of any region of the UK. Also its cost base is lower than any other part of England and it is going through major change as a result of Northern Powerhouse, which will help connect it and devolve power down to it.
What does the IoD North East offer its members?
We give our members the ability to influence change utilising opportunities via events, personal development, networking and seminars. One of the recent changes I am most proud of is that we have ensured Labour local authorities talked to the new Conservative government, to ensure the North East was part of the Northern Powerhouse Devolution programme.
What are you most looking forward to, as IoD regional chair, in the next 12 months?
Meeting the dynamic business leadership which is emerging to steer the North East through years of change that are ahead.
Who do you admire as a business leader?
I would choose Duncan Bannatyne because of his candid and determined nature of his business personality. I’ve worked with him for 25 years.
Finally what's your personal business ethos?
My personal ethos is to be open, honest and transparent in my dealings.