Well here I am July 9th 2019, a milestone day in the life and times of myself. Why ? Because it was ten years ago on this very day that I said goodbye to my dear chums at the Diamond Bus Company and embarked on my new life inspired by Eamonn and Conor and the journey that is now uTrack. It is actually quite remarkable really, when i look back on the journey from where we were then to where we are now. Yesterday I visited the team who are based in the very nice and smart offices based in Bennett’s Hill in the heart of Birmingham.
It was not always like this, back in the day uTrack was an aspiration, and the reason that I left a safe and secure job that offered a reasonable safe haven up to my retirement is simple. I genuinely believed that the technology that Eamonn and Conor had created was capable of changing the bus and coach industry. And to be fair, that is what they have done over the last ten years. The old expression is true, from little acorns, mighty oak trees grow. However, ten years ago none of us knew what if anything was actually going to happen, back then we did not have any customers and as a result no revenue and no salaries.
But, hey ho, who needs money? Fortunately we had a foundation of people who supported us on this journey, and without them it would never have happened. But, luckily we had potential customers and the very next day I met my dear friend Alex Perry who was then the Operations Director for National Express. We met in the Fountain restaurant in Clent and he agreed to investigate how uTrack’s technology might work with the National Express coach network. He showed vision and patience as we trialled it on the 060 route between Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds. And here we are ten years on an essential part of the National Express empire.
It is source of pride that this journey has managed to have an impact on an industry that has always been very close to my life and times. I was born into the bus industry, my dad was formally the General Manager of National Express, so for me working with NX was a natural fit, it completed the circle if you like. And today uTrack work with some of the most respected and famous bus and coach Companies from Greyhound across the length and breadth of North America through to First UK bus and Go Ahead Dublin. Amazing really, when you stand back, as in truth it was originally just 5 blokes with a shared vision , Eamonn and Conor, the two co-founders, myself the old English bloke who knew lots of people, the gifted artistic genius that is Carlos Anazco, who left his native Venezuela and sought his fortune in Ireland. And of course the amazing Valdas who has been the engine room behind Conor’s technical powerhouse. All very different people but we all had one thing in common, a desire to make a difference to an industry, and fair play that is what I believe has been achieved.
It begs the question just what will this journey achieve in the next ten years, I have no doubt that we still have great things to achieve, the team grows stronger almost by the week and I have no doubt that there are new markets and opportunities for us to explore. And this is the beauty of business I suppose, it is all about the next step, the next conquest, and also making life a little bit better in our case for millions of passengers around the world. And lets face it that is a pretty good legacy to leave. So, well done team uTrack, the champagne is in the fridge.!