[Q] I believe you started in the industry at a relatively young age. What first inspired you to break into the industry?
SH – I was 22 when I started working in the AV industry so yes, relatively young. My first job was with Matrix Display Systems, it was a young and fast paced business that had a great work ethic and hungry sales force keen to get out and win business. Many of the original Matrix team have gone on to become company Directors or own their own businesses. I remember Matrix investing in a rental fleet of 42” Fujitsu plasma’s and I was amazed with how popular they were. I loved the rental model as it was focused on service and support and I could see how new display technologies like the 42” plasma would have a demand for live events - and I wanted to be involved.
[Q] What were some of the key moments between then and now in terms of your business?
SH – There have been many key moments and picking out highlights is quite difficult. But I guess as a company (PSCo), we have always been about the products we offer, so key moments would be around signing new tech. The first videowall product where PSCo secured exclusivity for the UK market was a bezel-less plasma from Orion in Seoul - we also invested in FogScreen; a projection screen made of Fog that you could actually walk through, the Panasonic 103” plasma, I couldn’t believe the size (and weight…) of it, and more recently our partnership with Absen and being the first to have a rental fleet of 1mm, 2mm and 3mm LED displays – I don’t think you can see anything like that availability from anyone else!
[Q] How much is your success, as well as that of PSCo, linked to an underlying personal philosophy of yours?
SH - What drives PSCo is a real enthusiasm and passion for our industry, as well as getting behind all the new technologies that come to the market. On a more personal level; if someone tells me that something cannot be done, or it is too hard, it gives me the drive to do my best to achieve it, and to really push the boundaries of what can be achieved. For example, I was told that the 103” plasma just wasn’t a rental product - and that anything sub-3mm LED would be too fragile and expensive for Live Events. Yet here we are today with a huge fleet of screens well over 80” in size (including 103”) and an LED offering down to 1mm in pixel pitch - and all successful rental products. That success gives me and everyone at PSCo a huge buzz.
[Q] How much do you believe changes in technology have influenced your business? Do you think this will continue?
SH – There’s no doubt about it, changes in technology have influenced our business, 100% yes. We aim to be at the cutting edge, bringing new solutions and the latest technology to our clients. So if it wasn’t for the pace of product development and innovation, PSCo wouldn’t be the company it is today. And long may it continue!
I make focused efforts to talk to display manufacturers about their roadmaps to understand what is round the corner. Just recently I visited China to ensure we have a clear understanding of developments within LED, and I’m as excited as I have ever been about what is coming, the future is full of new innovations and we aim to be there to bring them to market.
[Q] What have been some of your proudest moments at the helm of PSCo?
SH - Initially I would say driving the transition of ‘The Plasma Screen Company’, a plasma rental business to ‘PSCo’, an organisation offering rental and sales of the latest display technology. We remain 100% trade-only and still have many of the same customers.
Its been quite a journey that has seen us create our own Assessment Centre; a unique facility, as well as giving us the opportunity to work with many leading manufacturers, who have entrusted us to work with and build their brands in the UK.
Another thing that makes me proud is to see our employees clocking up important milestones - five and ten years of service, for example – some for many more years too. Also, when we started, no one in the company seemed to be married or have children. Today, the majority of our team have done one or the other. It is great to see these personal landmarks being reached, as well as our staff moving up and developing their careers at PSCo.
[Q] Finally, on the occasions you do manage to escape the industry, what do you most enjoy doing?
SH - Honestly, letting go of the reins. When I get home, I am no longer the boss – and that suits me fine. I have also recently become a father and spending time with the little one is definitely something I look forward to every day. I used to enjoy playing golf, but alas, I no longer have the time for that!
Read the story on TPi here: http://issuu.com/mondiale/docs/tpidec15_digitallr/79?e=7529423/31760184
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