You know the name, now get to know the person. Neil Kippen, managing director of Fusible Systems, discusses Dorothy Perkins, narrowboats and Margaret Thatcher
When did you start working in the industry?
My grandfather was the founder of Dorothy Perkins and was very keen that I had a good knowledge of manufacturing, so he got me a job in 1974 at Ladybird childrenswear in Slough, where they had a completely vertical operation.
This was an amazing company and I was so lucky to start my career here.
Which three words would your friends use to describe your personality?
Impatient, generous, humorous.
What‘s your most over-used word or phrase?
“What are the sales figures for today?”
What is your favourite radio station?
Radio 2, but there‘s too much talking now so I have moved to Smooth (the good oldies). It keeps me calm and suits me better.
Tomato ketchup or brown sauce?
All extras are greatly appreciated, love them all.
What was the last book you read?
Leading: Lessons in leadership from the legendary Manchester United manager, by Alex Ferguson
What‘s your party trick?
Keeping everybody there for that one extra drink.
What‘s your greatest ambition?
To spend as much time as possible with my children and grandchildren.
Having been sent away to Gordonstoun School in the north-east of Scotland, I never really got to know my father as he died when I was only 16 and I don’t want to make the same mistake.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Narrowboating, I have my own and it is the greatest relaxation ever after a hard week at the office! Four miles per hour max and fabulous canal-side pubs.
Is there another job that you‘ve always wanted to do?
Divorce lawyer. My word, this is money for old rope and you would always be very busy and very wealthy.
If you could be anywhere on earth right now, where would you be?
In the Caribbean watching cricket. Went for a trial at Old Trafford cricket club in 1972 and still waiting to hear from them!
Which gadget or app couldn‘t you live without?
Has to be my gate fob that allows me and my wife to open our house gates remotely, no matter where we are.
If you could ask one person (living or dead) one question, what would you ask?
I would love to ask Margaret Thatcher how she would have handled all this Brexit nonsense.
She was my absolute hero and I cannot believe we would be in the mess we are in now if she had still been around.