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MyMentor Spotlight: Adrian Sutton

29 Apr, 2021
Adrian Sutton is founder & CEO of Vortex IOT, a technology company based in Swansea, South Wales.
Tackling growth challenges...

Prior to starting Vortex IoT I had a successful career in Management Consulting. I am incredibly driven to grow a global brand and bring to market products that will actively contribute to net carbon zero targets. The company is now perched on the cusp of a Series A investment which will fuel its scaling and transition to mass scale product manufacturing.

Vortex IoT grew its headcount by 80% in 2020 and the pandemic is actually accelerating the adoption and market penetration of our innovative products.

Growing a team rapidly during a lockdown has not been easy – team cohesion, logistics of maintaining a safe working environment, as well as general growth, have brought cultural and behavioural challenges. It was these challenges, coupled with managing the transition from prototype to low volume manufacturing, that made me reach out for a mentor. Did we mention new markets and Brexit too? Equally big challenges for the business.

I wanted to connect with a mentor that could identify with these challenges and provide guidance, assurance and advise on navigating the storm. Quite a bucket list!

A FTSE 100 CEO with vast experience...

I had been a member of GlobalWelsh for quite a while and immediately connected with the MyMentor programme. The GlobalWelsh team facilitated an initial meeting with Andrew Williams, Group CEO of Halma plc (a FTSE 100 company) who grew up in Cardiff.

The process of matching was really quite simple and was partly based on whether we would want to watch a game of rugby in each other’s company and whether we got on. After an hour of chatting, both Andrew and I agreed that this had wheels and six months later we had developed an open and mutually valuable relationship.

We kept it very simple. We'd talk once a month for an hour, I'd select a few points to discuss and we literally run through these. Andrew also connected me with some of his senior colleagues to bounce other ideas and challenges about. The process works very well.

Andrew is also on the board of the Cardiff Blues so when they beat the Scarlets recently it was not the best moment, so I’m looking forward to securing bragging rights in the return fixture!

Ready to take on the world...

The benefits of the mentorship were immediate and ranged from reassurance to opening new mindsets on how to approach things. Given Andrew’s success and the size and remit of Halma he immediately identified with our growth pains and allowed me to focus on the end goals.

The GlobalWelsh connection is invaluable, on day one we had something that linked us both – Welsh and proud of that plus a desire to see our country punching above its weight on a global stage.

That DNA is so important and I would urge all GlobalWelsh members, or those considering joining, to just get on and do it. If Wales is to knock the ball out the park on the global playing field we all need to reach far and wide and we have some great people ready and willing to support that. Ich Dien!


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