David Buttress, who launched Just Eat in the UK in 2006 and led the global business as chief executive from 2013 to 2017, shared the story of the company’s growth and his subsequent perspective as an investor at a dinner for Profit Track 100 alumni in London last night.
The dinner was co-hosted by Tim Hinton, head of corporate and commercial banking at Santander, and Tony Spillett, national head of technology and media at BDO, together with Fast Track’s founder Hamish Stevenson.
David described Just Eat’s early campaign for growth – rolling out aggressively city by city and “working stupidly hard” – the value of the platform’s data to restaurant owners, and how the company worked closely with its advisors around funding and M&A. He outlined his focus since leaving Just Eat on investing and his chairmanship of Dragons, the Welsh rugby side.
He spoke to the Fast Track camera about the entrepreneurial passion behind Just Eat and how its vibrant culture helped spread excitement about the company.
He told guests how he visited cities around the world talking to Just Eat call centre staff and local restaurant owners, and added: “How you spend your time as a CEO is the single biggest factor in what people at the company think is important.”
David shared his insights with 34 founders and senior directors from 30 Profit Track 100 companies including Flanagan Lawrence, MIQ, Sigma Pharmaceuticals, and Tropic Skincare.
Carl Griffin is managing director of Nutopia, which produces documentaries for the international market, such as the BBC’s “Civilisations”, National Geographic’s “One Strange Rock”, and Netflix’s “The Last Czars”. Disney Plus and Amazon are among its new commissioning clients.
Justin Bowman is chief executive of Air Charter Service, which arranges more than 23,000 private jet, commercial airliner and cargo aircraft charters each year. Last year it opened its sixth office in the US, to serve growing demand.
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Guests enjoyed networking drinks and dinner with representatives from sponsors Santander and BDO.
Tim Hinton (pictured standing), head of corporate and commercial banking at Santander, welcomed guests and reflected during dinner on their steady resilience despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit. “There’s a buzz in the room,” he said, “there’s a bullish, optimistic atmosphere – people are getting on with things and building companies.”
After dinner Tony Spillett, national head of technology and media at BDO, told guests he was impressed by the breadth and depth of discussions during the evening, saying: “The conversations during drinks and around the table have been about the purpose and strategy of businesses, how they can do right by their people, how they are innovating, and how they are sticking to their mission in the marketplace.”