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GRB: The story so far...
We both grew up in the North West of England and despite our paths crossing at a Rugby 7's tournament in Wilmslow in '85 it wasn't until '94 that we met and started to think about setting up a business. We both studied Business at Brighton Uni hoping to be apprentice Yuppies but then we changed our outlook after doing our placement year in '92-'93! We first met through a mutual friend, Ben, in a pub called the "Pig In Paradise". Chris was a keen follower of fashion and keep-fit freak whilst Ben was the opposite. I was somewhere in-between. Chris and I hit it off as we both shared a competitive streak. In the beginning this manifested itself in exhausting games of squash, then running then keepy uppy football! All three of us gelled and carried on drinking and studying (of course) but never really talked about setting up a business seriously until we graduated in '94. At this point reality set in and we realised that a 2.2 wasn't going to open doors for us in the companies we had aspired to join back in '90 so we thought about ploughing our own furrow - but how, what, where and when?
In the interim we had to pay the bills so Ben temped, I joined an IT firm in Marketing and Chris joined an Electronics firm in Sales. 18 months later we were fed up and wanted something more yet hadn't had a eureka moment. Ben decided he wanted to travel for a year so it was up to me and Chris to come up with something we both had a passion for. A week later Chris and I struck on an idea - a recruitment service just for exceptional graduates!
With no major competitors we thought we could do things differently...and better. Throughout '96 we continued with our full time jobs but worked in the evenings and weekends researching the graduate recruitment market and writing a business plan. To raise extra cash for a business loan I worked in the Duke of York Cinema in the evening and Chris worked overtime. Coupled with selling our cars and a few other possessions we soon raised £6k. Another friend, Steve was still at Uni and needed a business project to write about for his group dissertation so we asked his team to do some extra research for us. Finally we presented our finished business plan to the bank who hardly looked at the plan and agreed to loan us £4k to get the business off the ground. Brilliant. It wasn't until Christmas Eve '96 when a fax slowly printed out an employment offer to one of our graduates! This Kent based company's decision was the catalyst to leave our full time jobs and set out on our own.
In January '97 we handed our notice in and in February'97 we registered Graduate Recruitment Bureau Limited at Companies House. One of our first placements in '97 was for Ben, our mate who returned from travelling and then quickly we began to receive CVs from graduates across the UK. From then on we got our heads down and worked flat out making a healthy profit in year one exceeding our best case profit scenario. Our competitive streak, determination and love of hard work has kept us going to build the business up brick by brick to remain independent and become one of the largest recruiters of graduates in the UK. We now have an exceptional team of other like-minded employees who are helping GRB achieve continued success and match graduates with brilliant careers.
Co-Founder, Marketing Director