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The Entrepreneurial Exchange


Alan McCafferty

Alan obtained an honours degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering in 1988 and then joined British Petroleum in their North Sea and Petrochemical operations. He achieved chartered status in 1993 and went on to form his own engineering consultancy company. In 1997 he identified an opportunity and formed an Indian food development and sales company, India UK Ltd. Within 18 months, this company was supplying Indian snacks to all Asda stores, UK wide. He accepted an attractive offer for his company in January 2001.

After India UK came ADDER International Ltd, a digital CCTV systems builder with a strong emphasis on the export market. When it became apparent that this business was not going to fulfil its potential he decided to look at other opportunities.

While building his property and lease management business, Balmore Estates, and providing 'troubleshooting' assistance to a number of companies he secured the acquisition of McCowan's Ltd, the confectionery manufacturer (May 2003). After two very challenging years at the helm of McCowan's and achieving many successes it was evident that the business required additional funding. With the inherited debt burden plus additional unforeseen debts, such as a £1M pension deficit, it became apparent that new funding would not be possible. He appointed the receiver in March 2005 and helped secure a new buyer one month later. He left the business in May 2005.

He is now working on a number of projects from established businesses to start-ups. He undertakes Non Executive Director/Chairman/mentor roles with businesses and finds this aspect of his interests, although a small part of it, highly rewarding.

He recently undertook a turnaround/restructuring project with two related companies where he installed a new management team including re-branding, re-financing and operational re-alignment of activities.

Alan has been described as a serial entrepreneur. He is a strong people person and is keen on the 'it's got to be fun' principle. He is ambitious, competitive and has great enthusiasm for business. He enjoys the management and team building aspects of business and finds the psychology of business fascinating.

Gordon Adam

Gordon is co-founder and Managing Director of Head Resourcing Ltd. The company was initially founded in 2002 as an Executive Search business but broadened its remit in 2004 to include more mainstream recruitment in Information Technology, Accountancy, HR, Sales and Engineering (both contract and permanent).  Head was listed in the top 10 of the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 in both 2006 and 2007.  In 2008 Gordon expanded Head Resourcing’s business reach by launching an international medical division (www.headmedical.com). Company turnover in 2010 is forecast to be circa £25M. 

Gordon studied at the University of Strathclyde (1978-1982) where he gained a BSc Hons in Chemical Engineering. Between 1982 and 1988 he worked in management roles for a variety of manufacturers, including soap, glassflake coatings and paper pulp packaging. 

Seeking a totally new direction, Gordon established the IT recruitment division for Search Consultancy in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Between 1989 and 1995 he managed and grew a team of 12 staff.  

In 1995 Gordon became a Joint Founder of Direct Resources, an IT recruitment consultancy, specialising in both contract and permanent positions. Direct Resources quickly became Scotland’s highest profile IT recruitment consultancy. The company had amassed a turnover of circa £4.5m in 1998 and was sold early the following year to Nasdaq listed, Mastech Corporation for a multi-million pound sum.  

Throughout the success of Direct Resources, Gordon was also creating a second business. In 1997 he co-founded RecruitmentScotland.com, which became Scotland’s only ‘successful’ (i.e. profitable!) job website in the Dotcom boom, advertising vacancies for around 100 companies, including many Scottish blue chip clients and agencies. This was sold to TMP (Monster.com) in a multi-million dollar deal in 2000. 

Gordon then embarked on co-founding GAPX Investments, a company offering both financial and commercial assistance to small business; investments including technology, recruitment and training. This foray into investment lasted about 18 months. During this time he was also an investor and Non-Executive Director of WildDay.com, a company specialising in on-line outdoor clothing retail.

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Venue information

Scottish Malt Whisky Society, Edinburgh 28 Queen Street

0131 220 2044


Mr Gordon Adam, Head Resourcing, www.headresourcing.com


  • Mr Alan McCafferty, Balmore Business

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Registered in Scotland. Company registration number SC160976.
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