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Petroleum Experts Founder Hamid Guedroudj Named Scotland's Entrepreneur Of The Year

Petroleum Experts Ltd founder Hamid Guedroudj was named Scotland's entrepreneur of the year at the 19th annual Entrepreneurial Exchange awards on Thursday evening.

Guedroudj, who has built up the Edinburgh-based oil and gas focussed software developer into a global business, providing tools used to boost production and the efficiency of operations like reservoir engineering.

Since launching the commercial suite of petroleum engineering software tools in 2006, the company has won contracts with 25 global clients and its technology has been deployed in more than 200 fields.

Earlier this week, Petroleum Experts Ltd published full-year accounts for the year to September 2012 which revealed turnover rose 8.9 per cent to £27.5 million and pre-tax profits were up more than six per cent to £19.3 million.

John Anderson, chief executive of the Entrepreneurial Exchange, said: "Hamid is a classic entrepreneur.

"He was told that he was naïve to attempt to set up this business so could not access initial funding.

"This didn't put him off and he went on to establish a truly global business providing a unique, essential product for the oil and gas industry.

"Self funded, and with enormous growth, Hamid retains full control of a business which looks set to get bigger year on year."

Mike McGregor, the Deloitte partner who led the interview team, said: "Hamid is an outstanding entrepreneur.

"He has built Petroleum Experts from nothing using his skills, knowledge and expertise to create a world class business.

"Financially the growth has been astonishing with the company achieving 240 per cent growth over the five years to 2012.

"I believe that Hamid, and Petroleum Experts, will continue to go from strength to strength."

Stream Communications Nigel Chadwick was the 2013 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year winner.

Chadwick, a chartered accountant by training, set up Stream Communications in 2000 with fellow director Kevin McDowall.

The Glasgow-based company, which operates in the 'machine to machine' mobile data transfer market which allows devices like electric car charging points, vending machines, smart meters, digital signage, CCTV and other devices to transmit and receive data over a secure wireless network.

Stream now works with mobile networks around the world and is now extending its core wireless service offering into new markets, including the USA, Middle East and India.

Entrepreneurial Exchange chief Anderson said: "Stream Communications is a 21st century business tapping into global demand and has the potential to be a world leader in an expanding market.

"Nigel is already ahead of his competitors and has ambition coupled with outstanding clients and partners to ensure his business will grow exponentially in the coming decade."

Deloitte's McGregor added: "Nigel has great flair, charisma and entrepreneurial spirit. He is confident that the business has enormous potential both in the UK and globally.

"With communications likely to be the top performing sector of this decade, Stream is well placed to dominate the market. Stream's growth has been impressive and it is clear that Nigel feels it has extraordinary potential."

Two Scottish-based entrepreneurs were also inducted into the Entrepreneurial Exchange Hall of Fame: Roy McGregor, chairman of Global Energy Group and Ann Budge, founder of Newell & Budge.

Roy McGregor first set up oil and gas support services firm MacGregor Energy Services, which by 1999 had grown to be a £50 million company by the time it was sold for an undisclosed sum to 3i.

He went on to buy a small Inverness recruitment business before moving back into the oil and gas sector in 2005 with the launch of Global Energy Group, which has grown to encompass marine services, fabrication, rig repair, shipping upgrading and architectural outfitting with annual sales of £250 million.

Ann Budge, started as graduate trainee in IT with Scottish & Newcastle Breweries, becoming the first woman to reach senior executive level with the company before going off to co-found IT services company Newell & Budge in 1985.

The company went on to win work with blue chip and public sector clients, adding three acquisitions as it delivered 20 years of year-on-year growth, and by 2005 had more than 1,000 staff across nine regional offices in the UK and India.

Budge sold Newell & Budge to Sopra Group in 2005 in a deal worth £45 million, a deal which earned her the 2005 Entrepreneurial Exchange Entrepreneur of the Year award.

She went on to lead Sopra's UK operations before retiring in 2008, and is now a consultant, non-executive director and angel investor.


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