Passion helps a busy manager
RUNNING seven businesses can be “busy” admits ex-Gympie man Dr Miles Jakeman but he said being passionate helped.
Dr Jakeman is managing director of the Citadel Group, which was recently ranked third in Business Review Weekly’s (BRW) Fastest 100 growing private companies.
Jakeman said his 13 years in the army’s intelligence corps after graduating from St Patrick’s College in 1985, gave him many skills and opportunities as a young man that he was able to bank on when starting his own business Jakeman Business Solutions in 2001.
After a series of acquisitions and mergers after the formation of JBS the Citadel Group was formed.
In the last financial year Citadel has recorded a growth of 246.77 per cent and had revenue of $55.67 million.
Jakeman told BRW when Citadel reached the $100 million mark the group would move on to the next phase of development — an initial public offering, a trade sale or a new succession plan.
Before he created JBS Jakeman worked in Indonesia for three years until his youngest daughter became ill.
“I became self employed by defacto,” he said.
He started his own management consulting company with wife Le-Anne and now the husband and wife team has grown to employ more than 300 staff.
In the start Jakeman was working on business strategy, organisation, management, marketing and sales and now runs Gibsons, JBS, Service Point – including Professional Equipment and BRE AV Central, Filosoph-e, Frontier Recruitment and the Australian Business Academy.
The businesses are able to cross sell services and feed into each other.
Jakeman says Frontier Recruitment helped Citadel find good people and the Australian Business Academy based in Sydney and Canberra, which graduated 700 students a year, was able to provide training.
Last year Service Point, which is the video conferencing provider for the defence force, helped Prime Minister Kevin Rudd keep an appointment with a member of the United Nations.
On short notice Rudd went to Afghanistan for Remembrance Day and wanted to keep his meeting, so Service Point organised a video conference from the back of a tent in the war-torn country.
Jakeman says some of his fondest memories over the last nine years have been of the people he had met, customers and staff.
In his role he has done everything from designing marketing plans to graphic design to implementing the sky marshal program in wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.
He said working on the sky marshal program was memorable.
Now he has started an employee share plan and is working with Centrelink and Medicare setting up video link technology to regional areas.
And for the future he hopes there will be more of the same.
Managing so many diverse businesses could be complex he said, because there were multiple issues, but he credited his clever CEO’s for keeping things running smoothly day-to-day.
“It’s always a hard slog,” he said but he didn’t “find it hard to go to work everyday”.
In his spare time Jakeman collects red wine, reads books and makes chocolates for family consumption.
Jakeman now lives in Canberra and likes to spend as much time as possible with his family and fitting in regular trips back to Gympie.
The last time he visited was three weeks ago, he was able to catch up with family and a unit development proposal he is working on.
“I am very fond of Gympie; it was a good place to grow up,” he said.
Jakeman has advised business leaders and government officials on a number of occasions across cultures. He has a Bachelor of Science (Hons), a graduate diploma in Asian Studies and a doctorate of philosophy and he is a director of the not-for-profit Kokoda Foundation.