When the headmaster of Alfred Sutton School was forced to confiscate the 17th pack of cards from Chris Bartlett for gambling, he decided that enough was enough and expelled the 17-year-old. But Bartlett’s gambling streak was to pay off later when in 1989 he founded the IT recruitment agency GCS with a former colleague, Martin Smith. The pair set up an office in Fulham and recruited five staff but were hit by the recession two years later. They relocated to Reading and continued as a two-man outfit until 1995 when the market began to recover. Since then the company, serving multinationals such as Microsoft and Pzifer, has grown sales 74% a year from £2.2m in 1997 to £11.6m in 2000, when it employed 32 staff. It has offices in London and Paris.
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