2021 Wrap Up - Gordon Brown

2021 Wrap Up with Gordon Brown, Founder & CEO

Aaron Snood

Feels a bit like déjà vu as we yet again approach Christmas amidst a landscape blotted by uncertainty; blindly guessing whether further restrictions are to be introduced that will compromise our Christmas or Hogmanay celebrations, and utterly in the dark about what type of business world to expect upon our return after the festive break. Brings back memories, some not so fond. 

So, it is that time of year again, let’s sit back, relax, and reflect on the story of Nine Twenty’s journey over these past 12 months…… 

Once upon a time, an insightful commentator called Winnie the Pooh quoted some genuine words of wisdom “You’re BRAVER than you believe, STRONGER than you seem, SMARTER than you think, and LOVED more than you know.” Pooh Bear was of course referring to Nine Twenty in the context of how we faced up to similar COVID-related challenges just last year; how we showed courage in the face of adversity, stepping out of our comfort zone to change the narrative by taking some powerful but calculated risks. Some say that fortune favours the brave and I am delighted to report that in our case it most definitely did. As one of the Founders of Nine Twenty, I have a duty of care to serve a variety of stakeholders – our Group of Nine Twenty Businesses, our clients, our candidates, our partner organisations, our suppliers and finally - my fellow Business Partners, Directors, our Senior Management team and our Employees. I am immensely proud on all fronts of the phenomenal success that we have achieved together this year. Not simply in terms of delivering such a remarkably strong financial performance almost doubling our turnover, but also in considering the quality and scope of innovative products and services that we have provided to our clients and candidates alike. 

Hugely impressive to say the least and none of this would have been possible without THE single most important asset in the Nine Twenty kit bag, which is our people! First to implement what was then considered a visionary strategy of ‘Working from Anywhere’ since copied and adopted on a wide scale, we placed great trust and respect in our staff, which they have gone on to repay ten-fold. Loyalty, commitment, integrity, and passion are all keywords in the Nine Twenty vocabulary and lie at the very core of what makes us tick, of how we treat each other and how we interact with our clients and our candidates. We have continued to invest in further development of our people with full training on Premium LinkedIn and FireFish. We have grown organically, introduced a new internal Digital Marketing team and promoted from within, which in turn has improved us as a business and helped to extend the range of our services and capabilities. We have introduced Private Healthcare and an Employee Well-being initiative, and we now operate as a successful group of STEM-led businesses. We are justifiably proud to have protected our people through such unprecedented times; helping to keep them safe, facilitating financial stability, and providing them an ideal opportunity to attain an optimum work/life balance. Naturally, we are all incredibly grateful for the support that we continue to receive week-in, week-out from all their families. 

I offer my sincere thanks to all members of the Nine Twenty Group as well as our partners, our clients, our candidates, and our suppliers. My very personal thanks to my Business Partners - Our Managing Director of Engineering & Manufacturing Karen Stewart who has had a phenomenal year growing her business and Chris Lowden our UK Director of Technology, Digital & E-commerce with great results for 2021 and fantastic growth within the team, Special thanks to my partners Laura, Alan, Lynne, Danielle and everyone within the Group! Massive thanks also to Nicola and Stephanie for your support within Operations and Marketing functions too. Together, and I really do mean together, we have all achieved great progress during 2021 despite the trials and tribulations of operating in such a turbulent marketplace afflicted by a severe shortage of skills and talent. I must also make special mention and say thanks to the various charitable partners and providers whom we support, we do take our social responsibilities very seriously indeed and it’s especially important to acknowledge such organisations at this time of the year and to give something back to those within our community that sadly may have been overlooked during the pandemic. 

So, as we wind down and look forward to spending the festive period with our families and our loved ones, please allow me to convey my best wishes to everyone connected with Nine Twenty for a Happy Christmas and a Wonderful New Year. I look forward to working with each and every one of you as we drive the business forward during 2022 with further launches into Digital and Ecommerce on the agenda as well as plans to extend our recruitment horizons on an international basis. There is no doubt that many battles lie ahead, and I can assure you that we shall remain BRAVE and STRONG, and that we shall make courageous decisions that continue to push boundaries. I have total confidence in our troops, together we shall work SMART in a bid to disrupt a sector that has grown complacent and help position Nine Twenty as THE trusted partner LOVED by our clients and candidates alike. I have it on good authority that Pooh Bear approves of our growth strategy! 


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