Life in the Channel: Jon Atherton

What is your role at Ci Distribution and how long have you been at the company?

Rafi Razzak (founder) and Jeremy Nash (Group CEO) convinced me to join as group commercial director over two years ago to help build their growth strategy and drive certain aspects of the business. My responsibilities are marketing, distribution and implementing a proactive approach to commercial aspects for the group. Myself and the wider group of directors have achieved this over the last two years, it has been hard work but fun! Our growth over that period has been impressive not just 25 per cent increase in revenue each year but the investment we have made in people, back office systems as well as our investments in 23 Tech and SAMcraft to further enhance our portfolio.

Having spent many years in the Channel, what is your best memory?

I have too many to list! I have been very fortunate my role takes me to countries around the world, exciting places, and meeting new and existing contacts. I just genuinely like meeting people and building relationships. I’m a shrinking violet really.

What is the best way to get a deal over the line?

For me it is important to show integrity and honesty, go that extra mile for the client, invest time in their business and their needs, prepare well and understand not just their requirements but the solution.

Who are your best friends in the Channel?

That’s a tough one as I have so many fantastic relationships borne from our industry. I joined the IT world back in 1988 (believe it or not). I have friends from back then I still see today. Since joining the Centerprise Group two years ago I have made some great friendships with so many people, met so many new vendors and customers.

Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?

Less and less, it seems, as my working day gets longer, however I have not resorted to crown green bowls yet. I still enjoy playing golf with friends and taking part in other sporting activities, it’s just finding the time. Our undergraduates at Centerprise are arranging a charity ping-pong competition and I have my name down to compete and win that. I am confident, as it’s not a physical sport. Everyone knows I am a West Bromwich Albion fan and do enjoy going to the odd game, although we are not having the best season.

What is the best way for people to contact you?

You can find me on all social media platforms. In today’s age we are lucky (or unfortunate) to use so many different communication tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and Skype. Where would we all be without a mobile device? Spending more time golfing, maybe. My twitter handle is @Jono_Boy, while you can find me on LinkedIn under jon-atherton.  

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