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Octavian boss mentors business apprentice

Octavian Security : 17 March, 2008  (Company News)
Following in the footsteps of Sir Alan Sugar, Sukhi Ghuman provides business development opportunity for young employee.
Twenty-year-old budding entrepreneur Paul Reddington is celebrating after being named apprentice to one of the region's business stars.

Paul, a keen cricketer from Lowdham, Nottinghamshire, is the first "Apprentice" to Sukhi Ghuman, managing director of the Octavian Group - the organisation famous for putting ex-Ghurkhas into IKEA.

And it's a great opportunity for Paul to learn from someone who has been named Businessman of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year and Emerging Leader of the Year - all before the age of 30.

The award-winning Sukhi, who would give Alan Sugar, star of the BBC's Apprentice show a good run for his money, has taken what was a back-bedroom business to a multi-million pound operation with bases in North America, the Middle East and South Africa.

Paul, the son of a policeman, who joined Octavian as a van driver and is now in a business development role, said: "This is a great opportunity for me - Sukhi is a great role model for everyone in his business and beyond. He is honest and will let you know when you have done something well and also when things needs to improve.

"He is a mentor and I am learning how to carry out certain tasks properly and learning techniques for getting the most out of business situations, be they formal meetings or networking."

Although Sukhi's background is different to that of Sir Alan Sugar, he has developed a keen business mind.

Whereas Sir Alan left school at 16 to enter the civil service before selling electrical goods, Sukhi completed A Levels before studying law at Nottingham Trent University and then a Legal Practice Course at DeMontfort University. Sir Alan, born in 1947, launched Amstrad in 1968 and really made a breakthrough in the mid-1980s with a PC for the home user.

Sukhi, born 30 years later in 1977, became a solicitor, acting on dispute resolution and commercial litigation cases.

It was in February 2003, after a number of discussions with a contact in the security industry, that Sukhi became the managing director of Octavian Security Limited - which specialises in security solutions for clients in sectors such as construction, logistics, leisure and retail.

Sukhi commented: "I hope than I can transfer my knowledge and know-how to other members of my team because I realise that the business can only grow if there are people like Paul who can take it further.

"I have always admired Sir Alan Sugar and think that successful business people do have an obligation to pass on the benefits of their knowledge and experience. What better time is there for Paul to absorb this, but at the (relative) start of my own successful journey?"

And when asked where he hopes to be in a few years' time, Paul who is currently working on expanding Octavian's Canada and USA projects and recently flew out with Sukhi to attend high profile meetings in Vancouver replied: "I'd like to be Octavian's International business director."
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