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MEET THE TEAM

MANAGING DIRECTOR: PAUL GILLETT

PAUL

Background?

PG: I have a first class degree in Property Investment and Surveying from the University of Portsmouth. I have a passion for investing in both start up businesses and property.

Take us back to beginning, when was AJG Formed?

PG: I started in the marketing and sales industry in 2013. In 2014 I launched my sole business, AJG Direct Ltd.

Why “AJG Direct”, where did the name come from?

PG: I chose to use my mother’s initials because she had such a powerful influence on me, and I don’t think I would be as well equipped to run this company if it wasn’t for the important lessons she taught me growing up.

And how has the business developed over the years?

PG: In only three years we can now offer our portfolio of clients: events in any market, for any budget, at any time. I am looking to personally oversee the development of the company’s future leaders throughout 2017.

Speaking of goals, what are you currently focusing on?

PG: My main focus right now is the coaching and development of budding entrepreneurs through structured one on one mentoring through AJG Directs management training program. My goal is to develop talents and maximize peoples potential.

Plenty of companies don’t offer 1-on-1 training, why do AJG?

PG: There is overwhelming evidence that supports the benefits of mentoring in business. Not only does it increase productivity and professional loyalty, but it also drives performance and makes an individual more likely to succeed in their chosen path. We are proud to be able to provide such effective mentoring and training opportunities, and we are now urging more firms to do the same if they want success and longevity.

Through your time in the industry, what is one of the most important lessons that you’ve learnt?

PG: One of the most valuable lessons that we as entrepreneurs can learn is the ability to monitor your attitude and the impact that it has on work performance, relationships and success. Business and the journey to achieving life goals is filled with ups and downs, but the key is to realize that it’s not what happens that matters, it’s how a person decides to respond. By responding with a positive outlook, the chances of success increase massively.

Are there any words that you live by?

PG: “You don’t know your limits until you push them.”

HR AND RECRUITMENT MANAGER: SARA DA SILVA

sara website 5What were you doing prior to AJG Direct?

SD: I’ve led a pretty straightforward life. Born and raised in London as the daughter of Portuguese parents, graduated from Brunel University in 2015 with a first class honors degree in History and had been through a few publishing internships until I found AJG Direct.

What led you to AJG Direct?

SD: I began to realize that a standard 9-5pm job wasn’t for me. Clocking in and out of a boring job for 40+ years would have driven me crazy. I needed an opportunity that would offer me progression, but more than that I needed something that I could be passionate about.

And how have you found working at AJG?

SD: Having grown up as an immensely shy individual, I never would have imagined experiencing the amount of personal growth that I have gained since joining AJG. Before AJG, I couldn’t even call to book a dentist appointment. I cannot wait to see where this takes me.

And in the long term? Where do you see yourself?

SD: Apart from sipping cocktails on a beach? I want to have my own business, be my own boss, create my own future.

OUR SUCCESS STORIES

CONOR ELLISON

conor website 2What were you doing prior to AJG Direct?

CE: Before I stated in the industry I had done multiple odd jobs from welding, journalism, security, but my main job was as a professional Rugby League player for Wigan Warriors. Unfortunately, I got an injury playing in an England trial game, which over time ended my playing career.

How did that effect you?

CE: Realistically, it may have turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I can get old and injured, but within AJG Direct there is no limit to growth.

And what brought you to AJG Direct?

CE: I looked at the careers of my friends and was only excited by two of the guys I grew up with. Andy, pro power lifer and PT, now runs his own gym which has become one of the biggest gyms in the north west after only 3 year of business. And Ben, who started off doing field sales, is now a Sales Manager for Stanley after only 3 years. because of my competitive nature I chose sales because I wanted to do something I would be able to be judged. I moved from Newcastle to London over a weekend and haven’t looked back since.

And now? What are your goals moving forward?

CE: I am running a new campaign now with Paul, once I am sure I am ready, and I know how to run a #1 office I will spilt off and take my team to Manchester.

Long term?

CE: I plan on buying the Wigan Warriors, the club has had a huge impact on my life, not only playing for them but my whole family lives for the club. They cost £4.5 million, now that’s not going to happen next year or the year after but my aim is to invest and grow with them.

AKASH DESAI

akash website 3What were you doing prior to AJG Direct?

AD: After finishing boarding school in Hyderabad, I returned back to the UK and immediately began working, mainly in retail. Following on from numerous retail jobs I began working as a club promoter at the age of 18, which is when I began studying Business Management and Public Policy at Aston University.

And what brought you to AJG Direct?

AD: I was searching for a placement year during university; somewhere I could gain practical business experience, which is when I found AJG Direct. I immediately saw the opportunity this business could offer me in terms of personal and professional growth, which is why I deferred university and have continued my career with AJG Direct.

That must have been a difficult decision to make?

AD: Of course! Telling my Asian parents that I wasn’t returning to university was one of the hardest conversations I’ve had. I felt as though I was disappointing them. But once they saw the positive changes in me, the improvement in my habits and the dedication I gave to my work they became completely supportive in my decision.

And where do you see yourself moving forward? 

AD: The goal is to help Paul expand the AJG organisation and open up my own office in Birmingham. My grandparent’s vision was to have each of their grandchildren graduate from university and so eventually I’d like to finish my degree whilst simultaneously running a top office.

Any words of wisdom for future entrepreneurs?

AD: For the past year I’ve followed one simple rule: “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”

MEET THE TEAM - AJG Direct