Daisy Wholesale: out of the shade

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After the storm, the calm: As Daisy Group’s spate of acquisitions slows, it’s time for the Daisy Wholesale arm to properly integrate its new firms and set some bold new growth targets, reports Paul Withers

Over the last 18 months, acquisitive reseller Daisy Group has spent about £100 million of its war chest purchasing companies. Daisy Wholesale has been under the radar, but some of its acquisitions, those of Your Network Solutions, Cole Robert & Co (CRC) and Murphx Innovative Solutions have now been fully integrated into the Daisy Wholesale business, which is now ready to put its head above the parapet.

The most recent purchase was rival O-bit Telecom in February. This will be integrated into the business in the next couple of months. The O-bit deal added 120 resellers to Daisy’s base, bringing its total number of resellers to 1,000. Daisy Wholesale now sells mobile, broadband, leased lines, VPN (virtual private networks) and SIP (session initiation protocol) trunking.

O-bit Telecom’s products were aimed at internet service providers, telecoms resellers and IT services organizations. They, in turn, were selling to SME and mid-market business customers. O-bit Telecom chief executive David Breith and his senior management team came with the Daisy package and now report to Daisy Wholesale boss Carl Churchill (pictured).

Churchill joined Daisy Wholesale with the Murphx deal. He was Murphx commercial director and landed the top role at Daisy Wholesale in October, leading a combined workforce of 100 Daisy Wholesale and Murphx employees. These include the Murphx trio of chief executive Richard Jay, operations director Nicki Jay and chief technology officer Ben Murphy. Previous Daisy Wholesale managing director Rob Sims left his position following Churchill’s appointment.

Organic growth
The plan is now for Daisy Wholesale to grow organically rather than by waving its chequebook. The first goal is to increase turnover by 27 per cent to £70 million by the beginning of its next financial year.

Growing organically means the company’s acquisition strategy, for which it has become so renowned for over the past couple of years, takes a back seat, at least for the time being.

As part of this mission, Daisy Wholesale has beefed-up its senior team with three new staffers. Garry Growns has joined the company as sales director. He was previously founder and managing director of disaster-recovery provider ImperaData and was group sales director at Guardian IT, as well as having worked at COLT Internet and BT.

Daisy Wholesale’s new operations director is Paul Richens. He held a similar role at O-bit Telecom after leaving Tiscali Wholesale, where he managed the Pipex and Tiscali Business portfolio.

Former BT and Eircom consultant Frank Chapman is the company’s new finance director. He joins with more than 20 years of global telecommunications experience, having joined US-based telecoms company BellSouth in 1989.

Daisy Wholesale managing director Carl Churchill says he now has the right team to chase the planned turnover growth.

“Our focus now is about driving organic growth. We have looked at the business and made the investment where we felt it was needed.

“We’ll never say never to further acquisitions, but there is nothing coming up in the immediate future. The job now is to focus on building a strong and loyal customer base. To do that will require a cross-selling strategy. With the number of reseller partners we have and the capabilities of the companies we bought, Daisy Wholesale has some great opportunities.”

Cross-selling
Daisy Wholesale is now pursuing an aggressive cross-selling opportunity. It is able to proceed with this due to the number of products and services its reseller partners are selling as a result of the acquisitions made in recent months.

Churchill has already set a target for this move.

“I want Daisy Wholesale to be in a position where half of its customers are buying more than one product,” he says. “We have over 1,000 resellers. These customers have traditionally bought from the product portfolios of our acquired businesses. Cross-selling provides the biggest opportunity. I want half of our base buying more than one type of service from us.”

Full article in Mobile News issue 488 (May 9, 2011).

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