Steve Loughton is hoping to impart some of the wisdom he has learned during his 45 years in the catering equipment industry on those that might benefit from it after officially launching his own consulting service today.
Mr Loughton retired from the industry yesterday following his final shift as managing director of Hoshizaki UK. This morning the website for his new venture, Cupola Consulting, went live to mark the next chapter in his career.
While he does not expect Cupola to take up all his time, he hopes the strategy, change management and mentoring services he can offer will help to make a difference where it is needed.
“The idea of it is to work on two or three key areas really,” he explained. “Number one is individuals – helping them realise their potential, helping them to grow and mentoring them, but then possibly also working with their companies to see how they can work on their strategy, growth plans and those kind of things. The way I describe it is that it is about discovering and developing personal and business success.”
Although Cupola is framed at hospitality professionals, Mr Loughton said he was not averse to working with individuals from other sectors.
“If someone came along from another industry – and I hope someone does – and says, ‘ok, I am X, Y, Z years old, I am not really quite sure where I am going or what I am doing or what the world is going to look like in 10 years and how I skill myself for it’, then I am not saying I have got all the answers but I can certainly take a step back and help them think about their own skill-sets and where they might fit into what is an increasingly turbulent environment. While that is a trendy kind of phrase, the truth is that it is pretty turbulent and we don’t know what’s coming tomorrow.”
Mr Loughton’s spells running major multimillion pound industry players such as Enodis, Standex, Jestic and Hoshizaki has taken him across EMEA and North America and seen him build up considerable experience of entering new markets, consolidating businesses and growing market share.
He admits that the prospect of launching his own venture was not something that had appealed to him until more recently, but his retirement had made him consider the importance of helping to develop others.
“It is very interesting – I never wanted to run my own business in my life, ever, I have been a paid employee for 45 years, but over the last few years – and I think it is partly a function of getting a little bit older – you start to look around at people that are perhaps younger than yourself and you think they could probably benefit from a lot of what I had coming through my career, which was certain managers, certain mentors, actually training you, helping you and growing you, even though they weren’t doing it formally.”