Entrepreneur provides inspiration to the business brains of tomorrow

A Business investment specialist with a string of successes in the global marketplace gave up to 300 degree students a valuable insight into the entrepreneurial world yesterday (Thursday, April 14).

Dinesh Raj, Murray Strachan and Fiona BuchanMurray Strachan, managing director of specialist business advisory consultancy Strachan & Partners, and chief executive of Albyn Ventures, a private business investment group, delivered the 2011 Absoft entrepreneurship lecture at Robert Gordon University.

Mr Strachan, who is an honorary professor at the University, led the annual event, which is now in its 16th year and has been sponsored by independent SAP software consultancy Absoft since 2002.

With a career in business spanning 25 years, Mr Strachan was well placed to inspire the students using his strong business acumen, having held a variety of executive and non-executive director, general management, organisational development and commercial positions.

He is the vice chairman of the Entrepreneurial Exchange in Scotland, an initiative which aims to help entrepreneurs realise their full potential and leads the drive to make Scotland a more enterprising and confident society for the benefit of all.

Dinesh Raj, 26, who is completing an MBA at the Business School, said Mr Strachan's lessons on the importance of communication resonated strongly with him - while studying he has, for the last three years, run a training firm in his home city of Chennai, India.

The business trains up to 40 people per month in linguistic skills appropriate to working in the highly competitive international call centre market - specialising in English and American accents - and he has already amassed a pool of 20 staff.

Mr Strachan shared his career story with the students, highlighting key lessons which he learned along the way - including the application of the principles of sporting competition to achieving success by matching up to the challenges set by your opposition.

Murray Strachan said: "Entrepreneurs are vital to Scotland's continued economic growth and I hope that by giving an insight into how I got to where I am today, I have provided some inspiration to those who may be planning on setting up a business themselves.

"It takes a lot of hard work and commitment to reach one's goals and I hope that I have taught the students that they have to serve their time in business before making a success of an entrepreneurial idea.

"I was honoured to share my story with such enthusiastic students, who I hope will have the strength of character, determination and confidence to take their ideas forward, becoming influential members of our business community."

Absoft managing director, Ian Mechie, said: "Murray has had a diverse career and we are delighted to have someone of his calibre speaking this year.

"His extensive knowledge of the business world gave students a valuable insight into what to expect when launching their careers and I have no doubt that his entrepreneurial flair and expertise helped to capture the interests of the audience."

The session was introduced by Dr Heather Fulford, academic director of the University's Centre for Entrepreneurship and Ian Mechie, managing director of Absoft shared his company's ambitious growth plans with the students. Alistair Anderson, director for the Centre for Entrepreneurship at Aberdeen Business School, closed the lecture and led the Q&A.

A short career and enterprise fair took place for the students following the event.