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Biographies

Mike Smith 

Mike is the managing director and joint founder of Orb Group, one of the country's leading suppliers of corporate and promotional gifts.

Having graduated in 1990 in Economics and Marketing from Paisley College of Technology, Mike worked for the brewer Tennents and then Quaker Oats in London before moving back to Glasgow and working for marketing agency BD. 

Having always wanted to run his own business it was only a matter of time before he went out on his own, starting his corporate and promotional gift business in 1994 at the age of 25. 

With a turnover of approximately £3m, and a staff of 15, Mike has grown Orb Group to be one of the best suppliers of corporate and promotional gifts throughout the UK, and in 2007 the company completed its first acquisition, buying a competitor in London. 

One of Mike’s key skills is being able to get the best out of his team, and allowing each member of the team to maximise their full potential, one of Mike’s cornerstones for growing his business. 

In August 2009, Mike also became largest shareholder & chief executive officer of Sports Merchandise Global (SMG) after buying the assets and goodwill from its parent. SMG’s client base includes Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea as well as British Lions, NBA and the International Cricket Council. Recent new business wins include the French Football Federation and the Dutch Football Federation. 

Over 70% of SMG’s business is derived from overseas, and the business is set to grow from the £900k Turnover in 2009 when Mike bought the company, to approx £4m by 2012. 

SMG now has staff and offices in France and India, and currently sells merchandise in all 5 continents. International expansion is going to play a key role in the continued growth of the company, with other international contracts already in discussion. 

Mike was also a non-exec director of Kite Holdings, a company which specialises in payment plans for the dental market before being sold to a competitor in November 2011. 

Mike is currently focused on growing both Orb and SMG to become two of the top 10 companies in the UK within the corporate and promotional goods area.

Roddy Hammond

Roddy has worked in the recruitment industry for over 20 years.  Roddy set up Worldteachers in January 2009, following a full exit from his previous agency Hammond Resources. 

Worldteachers is an international teacher recruitment company, placing teachers and trainers in International Schools, Colleges and Universities.  The key markets are Qatar, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Russia.  Roddy has visited the Middle East 6 times in the last 2 years including 2 UKT&I Trade Missions. 

The majority of business has been placing school teachers from Kindergarten through Primary and various subject specialists in Secondary.  Areas with excellent growth potential include University and College recruitment, and English language recruitment. Worldteachers is a 100% export business and now employs 5 staff, based in Quarriers Village, Renfrewshire.  While many of the teachers have trained in Scotland, teachers from various other countries have been placed and the business is operated very much as an e-commerce business. 

Roddy has developed a strong network of other suppliers to the Education industry particularly from Scotland and the North of England and is in the middle of negotiations to form partnerships with other suppliers to expand the areas of income generation.  These include setting up English Language Centres, operating an international student recruitment agency, re-selling support software and more generic training provision.  International Education is experiencing huge growth and there are fantastic opportunities in this sector.  Roddy is keen to help Scottish businesses make the most of these opportunities in this sector.  He is looking to expand the company’s reach into other regions as well as penetrating the existing markets further. Previously, Roddy founded Hammond Resources as a Scottish focussed Accountancy, Legal and HR recruitment business in 1997 which was sold to Murray Capital in May 2008.   

Roddy went to school at Glasgow Academy, left aged 16 to study law at Aberdeen University, switched to studying marketing, economics and accountancy at Strathclyde University.  He graduated in 1987 and trained as a Chartered Accountant at Ernst & Young in Glasgow, joining the recruitment industry in 1989.  He obtained the Certificate and Diploma in Company Direction through the IoD in 2007.  He lives in Kilmacolm, married to Jackie with three children, Megan, Bonnie and Alfie.  He is a keen golfer (Founder Cup winner in 2000 and 2007!) and plays five a side football twice a week.  

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Venue information

Kama Sutra, Glasgow 331 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow
G2 3HW

0141 332 0055

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Chairman

Roddy Hammond, worldteachers.net, www.worldteachers.net

Speakers

  • Mike Smith, ORB International KMS, www.orbgroup.co.uk
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Registered in Scotland. Company registration number SC160976.
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