The executive chairman of one of Scotland’s most successful global energy businesses shared his route to multi-million pound international success with a group of 300 students yesterday (Thursday, 14 February).
Roy MacGregor OBE, founder of oil and gas contracting and service company Global Energy Group, inspired a packed audience with his entrepreneurial passion at the annual Absoft Entrepreneurship Lecture at Robert Gordon University.
Mr MacGregor, who was named Entrepreneur of the Year at the Grampian Awards for Business Enterprise in 2011, led the annual event, now in its 18th year and which has been sponsored by independent SAP software consultancy Absoft since 2002.
He has, in eight years transformed what is now Global Energy Group from a two-man band into the largest private employer in the Highlands of Scotland, with a turnover in excess of £350 million.
Mr MacGregor told students it is through focussed leadership and a belief in core values, as well as recognising the important contribution people make to the success of any business, that he has achieved so much during his career.
He encouraged the students to believe in themselves and persist with their enterprising ideas, suggesting that it is important to develop soft skills as well as technical capabilities.
“Contrary to what some might think the core values of a business are not synonymous with policies and procedures but are a set of principles which should make up the DNA of the business,” says Mr MacGregor who has been shortlisted for the 2013 IoD Scotland Director of the Year Award.
“I wanted to show the students that these values can define and guide the thinking behind a business, determining the behaviours of each person associated with it. It is through this belief in core values, and a real commitment to investing in people that I have gotten to where I am today.
“Entrepreneurs are vital to Scotland's continued economic growth and I hope I have inspired the students to believe in their own values, helping them to build the strength of character, determination and confidence needed to take their ideas forward.”
Mr MacGregor co-hosted a round-table discussion alongside his son and chief executive of Global Energy Group, Iain MacGregor, for a group of students.
Ian Mechie, Absoft’s managing director, who joined the round-table discussion, said: “Roy delivered an inspirational speech – reminding us of the importance of values within a company’s culture – something which we strongly believe in at Absoft.
“The round-table was a great success and was an excellent opportunity for the students to spend some time learning from Roy and Iain in a one-to-one session, which is a rare bonus. They were very enthusiastic and I hope will feel encouraged to carry their own enterprising ideas forward, one day forming the next generation of business leaders.”
The session was introduced by Professor Heather Fulford, academic director of RGU’s Centre for Entrepreneurship as well as Mr Mechie. Rita Marcella, the Dean of Aberdeen Business School, closed the lecture.
A short career and enterprise fair took place for the students following the event.