As the Director of Strategic Partnerships, Howard leads our relationships with many of the biggest brands in the world. We caught up with him after recently becoming a Microsoft Gold Partner to learn a little more about him, his thoughts on Apadmi and his goals for the coming year.
You’ve been with Apadmi from the beginning – what’s been a highlight of your time here?
“The ten year party was pretty cool – but I think more than anything, just seeing something grow that you were there for from day one. At the start, we were four lads in a room looking at each other working out what our roles would be. We had no money to pay the way and we weren’t getting paid for 9 months. We didn’t know if it would be successful. Personally, I had a massive mortgage and a second child that had just been born, so everything was hard.
You look at what we are now and you just go ‘wow’. It’s incredible. We had no idea what Apadmi would become. We put our heart into it and those early days were very, very hard. Financially. Emotionally. We were each doing about three or four different jobs at the same time to try and make it work. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come.”
Who do you consider an inspiration or idol and why?
“Paul McCartney. The man is a legend and a gentleman. He’s achieved so much; a member of the greatest band there’s ever been, a contribution to popular music that’s second to none and all the way through he’s managed to maintain his real humble roots from Liverpool of being a nice guy. He’s one of the most successful people of all time and yet he’s still humble. When people get irritated with Paul McCartney, it tells you more about them than it does about him. I think his contributions to the world are second-to-none and he’s undoubtedly a decent human being.”
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
“That I’m alright. I think a lot of people think I’m a misery – and I’m not! Outwardly I might look miffed, but inwardly I’m actually very happy.”
What’s the first thing you’re going to do when lockdown ends?
“Pub. Restaurant. Cinema. Football. Golf. Hockey. Gigs. Festivals. Holidays…if you give me longer I’ll keep adding to that list.”
If someone wants to buy you a drink post-lockdown what should they pick?
“A hoppy and fruity IPA.”
If you could go back to that first meeting of the four founders and give that a piece of advice, what would it be?
“It’s gonna be alright. Just relax. Work hard and it will be alright.”
Name one thing you love, and one thing you’d change about Apadmi.
“I love the office space. We’ve never really had that before – in truth, we still haven’t because of lockdown. What I’m most proud of though is that the kind of people that work at Apadmi are really positive, bright and social. As for change, we’re changing so much all of the time that it’s really hard to narrow it down. To be honest, I think if there was something that needed to be changed, it would be – we’re that sort of business.”
What’s been the biggest learning curve in your career to date?
“I’ve not stopped learning. I’ve literally not stopped learning in the last twelve years. I started as the Operations Director, then ended up steering the company with Nick before going into the world of investment and now I’m turning my hand to partnerships. That’s something I’ve loved about Apadmi. I love learning and the fact that Apadmi has afforded me the ability to keep learning is amazing.”
What are your goals for 2021?
“Partnerships. We’ve never had a partnership program. I’ve now picked that up and as of today, we have become an official Microsoft Gold Partner, so the wheel is turning now. Give it time and we’ll become a great partner to many great brands out there, and those partnerships will help return larger projects to us. To make partnerships a success, that’s my goal.”
What are you looking forward to in 2021?
“A big Apadmi night out, where we’ve hired some space with some top music on ( Beatles, Zeppelin, Nirvana…). All of us there having a laugh and a drink, even being able to hug each other. That would be ace.”