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Biographies

The Corsie Group provides market leading products and services to the leisure market worldwide. The business operates in a number of Geographical markets including UK, Europe, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. The Business was founded in 1996 by Richard Corsie after retiring from the sport of bowls. Richard identified the opportunity to develop a niche based sport and leisure business and immediately acquired Greengauge Sports in West Sussex. A further 5 acquisitions of niche based businesses followed, which have all been successfully relocated and integrated by the existing management team to form a profitable growing sport & leisure business.

Richard is responsible for the business development strategy of the group. Richard was Sales Director at Greengauge Sports from 1993-1995 and Managing Director from 1995-1996 before going on to acquire the company. Richard guided the Professional Bowls association through some difficult negotiations with the BBC during his time as Chairman and was hugely influential in the development of the World Bowls Tour. The PBA now have a 51% stake in the future of bowls and a new favourable BBC contract which was all negotiated and implemented during Richard's three year office as executive Chairman.

Jim McColl started his career as an engineering apprentice with Weir Pumps in Glasgow.   After six years in engineering and six years of part-time study he left work to take up full-time study for a BSc degree in Technology and Business Studies on a four year course at Strathclyde University.   After achieving a BSc degree with Honours in 1978 he returned to Weir Pumps where he remained for three years while studying part-time for a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

In 1981 he moved to a senior management position with Diamond Power Speciality Limited, an engineering company supplying equipment to the power industry worldwide, where he had responsibility for a manufacturing plant employing approximately 300 people, and worked in countries throughout the world including Sweden, Germany, Spain, Portugal, USA, Canada, Japan, Korea, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Australia.   During this time he studied part-time for a Masters Degree in International Accounting and Finance.

In 1985 Jim was headhunted by Coopers & Lybrand as a senior consultant involved mainly in "corporate care" assignments.   This meant working in various companies who were in financial difficulties and in need of turnaround.  

In 1986 he left Coopers to become a self-employed "company doctor" and, after two successful turnarounds, he bought 29.9% of a small Scottish engineering company, Clyde Blowers PLC, which had a full listing on the London Stock Exchange.   Turnover at that time was around £4 million, with a loss making core business subsidised by investment income.   Clyde Blowers now has over 55% of the world market in its original product line, and has expanded into other growth engineering sectors.  

Over the past 10 years Clyde Blowers has grown at an annual rate in excess of 35% and has developed into a truly Global portfolio of 37 Companies in 19 different countries around the world.

Qualifications & Education

Universities: Strathclyde and Glasgow

1974 - 1978            BSc (Hons) Technology and Business Studies

1978 - 1983                MBA in Business Administration

1983 - 1985            MAcc in International Finance and Accounting

Others:

1968 - 1969             City and Guilds Mechanical Engineering Technicians'  

                                        Certificate in Mechanical Engineering            

1969 - 1973             ONC Engineering

1973 - 1974             HNC Engineering

Honours & Awards

1998              Alumnus of the Year Award' from Strathclyde University

1999              Entrepreneurial Exchange ‘Entrepreneur of the Year Award' for 

                     1999/2000                    

2001               Ernst & Young ‘Master Entrepreneur of the Year Award

                     Queen's Birthday Honors List with an OBE

2002              Induction into The Entrepreneurial Exchange Hall of Fame

2003              Honorary Doctor of Business Administration awarded by the Academic Board and the

                     Court of Napier University

2005               HRH The Duke of Edinburgh awarded Jim McColl with The Prince Philip Medal 2005 ‘Certificate of Achievement' for an outstanding contribution to the engineering industry

 

2006              Winner of The SBAAT International Business Award for Sustained Excellence in International Business Endeavour

Public Service & Charitable

1998 - 2000     National Museums of Scotland.  In 1998 Jim led a fundraising Initiative for the New Museum of Scottish Country Life

1998 - 2002     Member of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council and Chairman of the Audit Committee

1999 - 2003     Member of the Scottish Industrial Development Advisory Board advising the Scottish Executive on Regional Selective Assistance

2000 - 2003     Chairman of  The Scottish Corporate Advisory Board of Save The Children

2002 - 2004     Member of the Committee set up under the Chairmanship of Sheriff Principal John McInnes to Review Summary Justice in Scotland  

1998 - Present  Member of the Singapore Britain Business Council

2000 - Present    Member of the Board of Scottish Enterprise Glasgow                  

                        Honorary President of Kilbryde Hospice

                        Chairman of the Entrepreneurial Exchange until 2007, the premier organisation for

                        Entrepreneurs in  Scotland

                        Chairman of the Glasgow Welfare to Work Forum

Jim is on the University Of Strathclyde Graduate School Of Business Advisory Board, a member of the Napier University Business School Advisory Board, and a member of Caledonian University Business School Advisory Board.  Jim is also an Honorary Professor of Stirling University and a Visiting Professor at Strathclyde University.

Charan Gill is the face and mastermind behind the hugely successful Glasgow based Harlequin Leisure Group, which incorporated Harlequin Restaurant Group, the largest Indian restaurant chain in the UK.

Often revered as 'Glasgow's Curry King' by the media over the last 19 years, Charan has turned the Glaswegian passion for curry into a thriving empire of 17 restaurants across Scotland...and that's just for starters! In 1998, Charan was awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours List for his outstanding contribution to the food and catering industry.

It's fair to say Charan's achievements have been phenomenal.  So what is the secret of his success? Rather than being born with the silver spoon syndrome, on the contrary, Charan's childhood was tough.  He arrived in Glasgow from the Punjab, India in 1963 at the age of 9 with little knowledge of English or indeed the western culture. Denied a university education, he started his career as a turner and fitter at Yarrow's Shipyards on the Clyde in 1969.

By 1974, he was a married man with a young child, living in a room and kitchen on the south side of Glasgow. To supplement his meagre income in the shipyards, Charan worked as a waiter in his friend's restaurant, the Ashoka West End, in the evenings - and this is when his entrepreneurial flair began to flourish. He had a vision.

In 1984 when the opportunity arose to purchase the restaurant, Charan begged and borrowed to secure the deal. Through grim determination (amid at times desperation), he applied his innate ability to turn ideas into innovative concepts - and the Harlequin Empire was born. In March 2005, Charan successfully sold the Harlequin Restaurant Group and is now concentrating on Harelquin Properties and Harlequin Developments, focussing on luxury conversions and new build properties across west central Scotland.

Not content with already having built hugely successful companies and selling them, Charan's latest venture is The Quayside in Musselburgh.  The Quayside comprises of a Restaurant, Health and Fitness Centre and also specialise in carefully tailored function requirements including Weddings, Conferences and Events.  Charan  has recently  carried out an extensive refurbishment programme to bring the Quayside up to his exacting standards.

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Venue information

Howard Hotel 34 Great King Street
Edinburgh
EH3 6QH

0131 557 3500

Chairman

Mr Charan Gill, MBE, Harlequin Leisure Investment

Speakers

  • Mr Richard Corsie, MBE, Corsie Group
  • Mr Jim McColl, OBE, Clyde Blowers

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Registered in Scotland. Company registration number SC160976.
Registered office: Barncluith Business Centre, Townhead Street, Hamilton, ML3 7DP. Developed by Mercurytide