My week: Nic Scott of Fairsail

The technology entrepreneur on missing out on boozy lunches, international expansion and his passion for am-dram.

by Hannah Prevett
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

Every day is an early start – or what I deem to be one. I usually get up about 6.30. Then I’ll get ready and leave my house in Weybridge to make the hour commute to Reading, where Fairsail, our HR technology company, is based or head into meetings in London. One of my favourite bits of the job is going out to talk to customers and prospects, which is much more fun than being stuck in the office. I can tell them all about our ideas and they can give their feedback, which means it’s all a bit more collaborative. Sadly, nice, long lunches disappeared about 15 years ago. In my experience, most business guys these days tend to be very keen on just meeting for half an hour to grab a salad or sandwich somewhere. It’s probably better for waistlines and livers that way though.

Something we’re quite focused on at the moment is the international side of the business, which has worked better than expected. We now have five people in the US (as well as 15 here in the UK) but our customers are also in Canada, Europe, China and Australia. Because of our focus on the US, I spend a fair amount of time over there – I probably head across the pond every couple of months or so.

Because of the international focus, it does mean the days can be quite long. To catch the Australians, we have to do conference calls from around 7am, which is their early evening; and then you have a quiet-ish day until mid-morning when the east coast wakes up, and then the West Coast…. I can quite easily work through until 10 or 11. It’s a long day, but it doesn’t matter. It’s business.

I also make sure I make time to relax. That usually involves the traditional means such as having a good dinner and an enjoyable wine, but also I’m involved with an am dram group. That’s quite exciting and quite daunting in equal measures. I think there’s an element of showoffishness in most of us and once you try it out and you don’t get pelted with tomatoes, it seems to become an addiction. I’ve been doing it seriously for a couple of years, so I was the demon of discontent in the recent panto, and then went on to appear in an amusing play called The Fat Lady Sings.

My involvement with amateur dramatics can be very time-consuming. When there’s a production on will have between three and six performances, so that week will be pretty much a wipe out work-wise. It’s quite intense and requires a huge amount of concentration. Even though I love it, I do sometimes need to sneak off behind a curtain with the iPad to see what’s happening in the ‘real’ world…

Nic Scott is the co-founder of Fairsail, the HR solutions provider.

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