Channel Q&A: Darren Houghton, Gem

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What has been your journey to general manager of Gem?

I joined as a DVD consultant in 2001 after having managed Gem as distribution manager at Sega Europe. It became apparent to me very early on that this was a new breed of distributor that actually wanted to make a difference and add real value to its customers and suppliers. I liked what I saw and wanted to get more involved in the business. 11 years on and we are making even more of an impact with the vast range of services that we offer both our suppliers and retail partners.

What has been your best moment in business?

I don’t have a standout moment. It’s boring, but it’s always about winning new business or passing on positive news to the team from suppliers about how good a job they are doing. It’s sometimes the smallest things like recognition that mean the most.

What was your biggest regret?

I don’t have one

What is the best business advice you have ever been given?

Never underestimate the power of establishing a good and honest relationship with your customers and suppliers; it’s like gold dust.

Which company (other than yours) do you admire the most and why?

Virgin Group. It’s a childhood thing. I’ve always respected Mr Branson’s approach to business. Tenacious, driven, entrepreneurial, yet always comes across as balanced and humble

Which other CEO do you believe has done an outstanding job? Why?

Steve Jobs. Enough said, really

What’s next for Gem?

Keep battling through this tough period, keep people motivated and focused, keep our partners happy and keep evolving our physical and digital offering.


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