Wimbledon-based Progressive Computer Recruitment is an outstanding performer all-round, having appeared in the top five of our sister publication, the Fast Track 100 league table, in all three years of its publication. Progressive was started by Sunil Wickremeratne, the top-performing salesman ever at IT recruiters Computer Futures. He launched his own venture in 1990 with the blessing of his former bosses, who contributed start-up finance in return for an equity stake. They have been well-rewarded. Progressive’s profits have grown at 111% pa, from £989,000 in 1995 to £9.2m in 1998. Sales have grown even faster in the same period – by 158% pa – to reach £58.8m.In 1999 Progressive merged with sister company Computer Futures to form Solutions in Staffing & Software (S3). Shortly afterwards S3 obtained £50m of venture capital investment from Barclays Private Equity in return for around 20% of the equity. The money will be used to attack the European market. “We are positioning ourselves to be the biggest player in the European market,” says 35-year-old Wickremeratne. “Recent deregulation has created huge opportunities for experienced UK companies”. The Sunday Times Rich List 2000 estimated Wickremeratne’s fortune at £40m, making him the 34th richest Asian in the country.
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