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18 INTERVIEW: JON SIDWICK, MAVERICK

January 2017

Twenty years and still growing

From small business roots to being a major pan-European organisation bridging AV and IT, distributor Maverick has seen significant growth and success. Ian McMurray talked to Jon Sidwick, vice president, Maverick Europe Why did you join Maverick? Having previously been with a reseller, I joined Sharp, helping develop their LCD and projector business. I really enjoyed the experience of working with a large blue-chip multinational – over the 11 years I was there, I learned a lot about how a large organisation should work, and being exposed to a very different culture was fascinating. But: having seen two distinct parts of the AV business, I decided I wanted to experience a different part – and distribution was the obvious next step. It was a natural progression for me. That’s how I ended up joining Maverick who, at the time, were just six people. To be honest, it was both daunting and energising at the same time. Every decision that needed to be made, you made it yourself – and you knew that whatever you decided would make a real difference to the company. What have you achieved as a company since then? Remarkably, I’m celebrating my 20th year with

Maverick in 2017 – ten of those with Maverick itself, and ten as part of Tech Data, Maverick’s parent company. Today, Maverick turns over more than €300 million, and we’ve grown to being present in 16 countries. And we’re growing fast: next year, we expect to be a €400 million company. Over those 20 years, we’ve managed to create some very successful companies. Vision designs and manufactures excellent AV installation accessories. Hotlamps is, so far as I know, one of the last multi-country replacement projector lamp companies. PSCo came out of Maverick, as did Stampede and Design Integration, all successful businesses. Has everything you’ve done been a success? No business grows as fast as we’ve done without a few mis-steps along the way, and we’ve had a few. One example was when we created Pro Installation to address the education market, as there was a lot of BECTA funding

washing around at the time. But that funding dried up. We were probably about a year too late to the market. My attitude has always been, though, that it’s better to try and fail rather than not to have tried in the first place. I’d rather be criticised for doing something than for not doing something. And our successes have far outweighed our failures. How has your Maverick career developed? One of the reasons I’m still at Maverick is that it feels like I’ve had a new job every three or four years – and that’s a function of how we’ve been growing. In the early days, the team and I were all about establishing Maverick as a business in the UK – but we’ve scaled to become a European business. Now, recognising that many major integrators – such as AVI-SPL and Whitlock – operate worldwide and are looking for consistency of service delivery across countries, we’re growing our presence in North

Installation January 2017 Digital Edition  

AV integration in a networked world

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