Business leaders of the future told to keep faith in their ambition

Business students in Aberdeen were today (Thursday March 19) told that the true spirit of entrepreneurship was about believing in your product in the face of adversity.

North-east entrepreneur Martin Dickie of Fraserburgh-based brewery Brewdog told a packed audience of around 300 students at RobertGordonUniversity’s BusinessSchool that a major part of succeeding was to not lose faith no matter how many hurdles there are to overcome.

Along with his business parter James Watt, Dickie founded the company which has grown into Scotland’s largest independent brewery in 2007. Brewdog has since become a successful global brand with its range of speciality premium craft brewed beer.

“It takes a lot of money, a lot of time and lot of hard work. Neither myself or James came from a business background and don’t believe in rigid business plans,” he said.

“We didn’t set out to find a niche in the market and exploit it, we weren’t looking to attract a certain demographic - we simply wanted to create a product we liked the taste of. Many people told that we wouldn’t succeed but by consistently believing in ourselves and our products we have proved that it can be done.”

The high-profile annual lecture has been sponsored by Scottish software consultancy Absoft since 2002. This year’s event added a new dimension to previous years with a round-table discussion with a small group of students after the lecture.

“Martin’s lecture gave an insight into how existing entrepreneurs who have a committed approach will help drive the economy of the future and those who are really passionate about their products will possess a distinctive marketing philosophy,” said Mr Mechie.

“This philosophy is what entrepreneurs need to achieve a successful business and the lecture provided the perfect opportunity for Martin to share his ideas and practices.”

Mechie, who co-founded Aberdeen-based Absoft in 1991, and AberdeenBusinessSchool entrepreneurship lecturer Susan Moult, joined the Brewdog boss in the round-table discussion.

The prestigious lecture series is now in its 14th year.  Previous speakers have included Melfort Campbell OBE and Jamie Smith of the Ice Factor.