The Business Class

The Business Class: Ovo Energy

Episode Six: Ovo Energy

In our penultimate Episode Six we profile Ovo Energy ( who claim to deliver a 'cheaper, greener, easier' energy offering compared to the 'Big Six'. Their extremely rapid growth means they are now on track to break out of the SME category and we consider in this episode the implications of this leap for businesses looking towards exits, expansion and excellence in their market.

In this episode we consider brand integrity within the energy sector and ask how to retain this when seeking high level investment for growth. We also explore marketing strategies to compete and differentiate in an oligopoly. James is joined for this debate by Paul Foley, retail consultant and ex-CEO of Aldi supermarkets.

The Founders

Stephen Fitzpatrick started Ovo Energy in September 2009. Prior to starting up Ovo Energy, Stephen spent five years as a trader at Societe Generale and JP Morgan. As a senior vice president at JP Morgan, he was responsible for day to day trading in sectors including Industrials and Utilities.

Before working in the City Stephen launched The Rental Guide Ltd, a successful property newspaper, for which he was a national finalist in the Livewire Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. Stephen graduated with a Bcom in Business from Edinburgh University.

Ovo Energy - Vital Statistics

USP: Ovo are an alternative energy supplier offering a 'Cheaper, Greener, Simpler' service to rival the Big 6. They offer only two tariffs, both including a percentage of green energy, and as well as being committed to UK-based customer service they also offered customers a price cut this year, bucking the industry trend for continued rises.

Company Name: Ovo Energy

Turnover: 50M (projected with 2011)

Headquarters: Kemble

Founded: 2009

Employees: 150

James' Checklist For Businesses 25M Turnover

Is there a remuneration package for all staff? Are staff incentives sufficient to ensure retention of the best people?

As a larger company, are they capitalizing on marketing opportunities in this economic downturn?

Is the reporting structure both as streamlined and effective as it can be? Is the decision-making process overly lengthily or is it too rushed, leading to adverse outcomes?

Is the company preparing for a buyout? Are they ready? Have they properly valued their business? Have they considered a partial exit?

Is the company ready to embark on floatation? Does the management team understand what is required of them from potential investors?

  • Caan is one of the U.K.'s most successful and dynamic entrepreneurs as well as the guest presenter of "The Business Class."

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