NEC Group CEO Paul Thandi was awarded the coveted Ambassador of the Year title at last night’s West Midlands Business Masters Awards in Birmingham (Thursday 8 June).
Since becoming CEO in October 2006, Thandi has rebuilt the company’s brands and reputation, created a new senior management team and transformed the Group into a customer-centric and data-led organisation.
He has also led the business through a change of ownership when LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, acquired the NEC Group from Birmingham City Council for £307 million in May 2015– a deal which brought the Group into private ownership for the first time.
The NEC Group is now one of the world’s top venue management companies, operating the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), International Convention Centre (ICC), Genting Arena, Barclaycard Arena and the Vox Conference Centre. It also manages a range of support services including national ticketing agency The Ticket Factory and award-winning caterer Amadeus.
In addition to winning the Ambassador award, Thandi’s team picked up the award for Large Business of the Year and were shortlisted in the Employer of the Year category, making it a successful evening.
Paul Thandi said: “We’ve made huge progress in recent years and winning awards such as these is recognition of those efforts.
“Our driver for external investment was to realise our business plan and beyond. Deliverability and pace are essential for us in responding to market opportunities, and bringing on board an external investor with the experience and breadth of LDC has brought a renewed energy and confidence to our teams and business, which has been essential in our progress and our success.
“We now have a clear strategy focused on data, customer experience and optimisation. We’re transforming our regional and national offer through a focused business and leisure destination strategy to give our visitors more compelling reasons to visit, and we’re extending our footprint through consultancy, management and operational expertise internationally.
“We have a lot going on, but we’ve got an experienced investor and an equally experienced and talented senior team together with an equally important and invaluable group of committed staff and partners - who we continue to invest in for future growth - who deliver our day to day business to an exceptionally high standard.”
The NEC Group’s recognition at the Midlands Business Masters follows recent success as Large Company Management Team of the Year (Midlands) at the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA) Management Team Awards.