Have you ever been part of a really exciting journey? I am talking about a period in your life where the stars aligned, and suddenly the Company that you worked for, and the people in it found a new sense of energy and purpose, that meant that you could conquer the world? No. Well it is quite a rare event, and as I reflect on my nearly 40 year career in the Bus and Coach Industry there are three occasions where I felt this sense of the world is my oyster and I can make a difference.
The first was when I was employed as the Senior Manager Strategic Recruitment for Firstgroup PLC. This was an amazing journey in completely uncharted waters, no one had ever been to Poland to recruit bus drivers so the rules were made up as went along, and it worked with over 3,000 plus employees joining First Bus and saving the day. The second was when Rotala brought Go Ahead West Midlands, I was then employed as the Commercial Manager, and had no idea what to expect other than probably getting the sack. Luckily for me Bob Dunn very kindly did not sack me and neither did his son Scott Dunn who at 32 was appointed the MD. He was charismatic, highly intelligent, and on occasions tough and challenging one minute and then extremely kind and supportive the next. He took charge of a team of demoralised managers and turned them around int two years into a really innovative and capable bus Company. The introduction of Red and Black Diamond certainly scared both National Express and First Bus as they began to take market share from the incumbent operators. The third revolution was when I joined uTrack over 10 years ago and that is an amazing story, for another day.
So, as I reflect on all of this I spotted on Facebook some photos of a brand new fleet of Blue Diamond vehicles that are about to hit the streets of Manchester following the purchase of Boltons depot from First Bus. In fairness to Simon Dunn the CEO of Rotala, he has overcome some tough challenges but in fairness the group have survived and grown and in fairness are now well positioned and looking more professional and fair play to them for that. It will be interesting to see what happens as franchising in Manchester looks closer to becoming a reality. Time as always dear chum will tell,