MEET THE MD Reg Groombridge
The founder of X:drive Computing on how his software development company has become a market leader in absence management systems
Tell us about you
I was born and raised in Dover, my first job at the age of 16 was as a dock messenger, where I was surrounded by successful family members running various businesses and all working very hard. School was always tricky for me with my dyslexia, but I now feel that it gave me many skills and abilities, including determination, an ability to problem solve, think outside the box and not to follow convention. We have recently moved home to Canterbury to be nearer our office in the city centre. I am very proud of my two children, who are both successful engineers. I used to give them advice but they now influence me!
Tell us about X:drive
We established X:drive back in 1999 during a chance telephone conversation with a close friend, Philip Cross, that went from
‘I’ve got an idea’ to where we are today. At first we started writing software for transport companies, then any business that asked us for help. We ended up writing bespoke systems for more than 150 companies. As the market and delivery of such software changed, we were very early to offer an online delivered service; only in recent years have such online services become the norm. We now have a successful business that delivers online to more than 3,000 companies around the world. With this complete change over the years, we are now best known for our brand WhosOff, a service we deliver to nearly 150,000 users. Companies who have survived the last 15 to 20 years have had to embrace IT and we are no exception! In recent years I have personally become less involved in product development and now concentrate on strategy, marketing and making sure we maintain our ethos to be fair, always over deliver and be as helpful as we can.
What makes you stand out? WhosOff is an easy to use online staff-leave planner. Managing staff leave is a problem for companies both big and small; we solve that in friendly yet professional way. We are used by businesses from the public and private sector of all shapes and sizes, from 10 to 3,000 staff, from absolutely any type of business around the world, basically any company or organisation that has staff leave to manage, big or small. WhosOff is recognised as a market leader, hosted on servers owned by us. Our business runs to ISO 270001 and complies to recent GDPR data protection. As an online service we are in the minority, as we still believe in the importance of telephone support.
Any impact from Brexit?
In terms of Brexit I believe all business has been affected, stifling growth and investment and leading to a lack of confidence. To maintain our continued growth, we have given WhosOff a total redesign, added more HR features, delivered new android and i-phone apps. We have also established a new product WhosOffice, helping companies to manage shifts and rotas while still handling the more complex issues of staff leave for these types of employees.
Any career advice?
Work hard, concentrate on the product, establish early users and listen to what they really want.
You in five years?
Over the coming five years I really see our established online services WhosOff and WhosOffice developing further, leading to continued growth while allowing the established team to take more control and lead us into our future.
How do you relax?
If you asked my wife, she’d say I don’t relax, but thank goodness for my personal fitness trainer.
Breakfast this morning?
A blitz drink – fresh fruit and vegetables is a brilliant way to start the day.
Get in touch
X:drive Computing, 2nd Floor, Beer Cart Building, 1 Beer Cart Lane, Canterbury CT1 2NY [email protected], or
01227 764806 www.xdrive.co.uk