Citibase Millbank Young Entrepeneur23/06/2014
The success story of 19-year-old Josh Valman, founder of global engineering business RPD International, began as a boy of ten years and was inspired by a love for the television programme Robot Wars. This sparked a passion for design and engineering and at just 17 years old, Josh founded his first company with the help of high net worth investors.
Just days before taking his A-levels, Josh secured investment from Gibraltar, which allowed him to found RPD International, an innovative design and manufacturing company, projecting a seven figure turnover this year, only six months after launch.
RPD International’s 48-strong team helps companies of all sizes to design, prototype, manufacture and deliver their own products with enormous efficiency and without a large investment. Josh has engaged clients from all over the world, including one of the world’s leading aerospace manufacturers and he has just signed a major deal with an international airline.
The Challenges of Business Growth
Having increased its staff number by 50 per cent month on month so far in 2014, RPD International rapidly outgrew its first flexible office space in Haggerston, East London, even though it was the only tenant. After a series of break-ins and securing a number of large corporate contracts, Josh made the decision to uproot the business and move into Citibase’s business centre in the Millbank Tower, London (SW1), earlier this year.
Josh Valman comments: “It was certainly the right move. The limited space available in the Haggerston office and its more arty address was holding back my business development. So I wanted a more corporate address that would be attractive to my international clients but unfortunately found that a lot of central London offices were tailored to suit big corporations. They were also, quite frankly, out of budget for a small business like RPD.”
“But it was Citibase’s flexibility that really attracted me to the Millbank Tower business centre. I had already agreed a lease with Citibase, but after one of the break-ins I called up and was able to move offices that same day.”
The contemporary offices at Millbank Tower boast river views and the headquarters of Burberry, Channel 4 and The Home Office as near neighbours, as well as a prime business address that attracts international recognition. Citibase’s flexible terms were another attractive feature for Josh, who didn’t want to sign anything more than a 12 month lease.
Josh continues: “I believe a successful business needs to be adaptable and always on the lookout for innovation, not only in terms of the services it provides, but in the way it operates. This goes for the kind of office space it inhabits.
“What drew me to choose Citibase’s Millbank centre was the flexibility it offered. As a new business, it was important for RPD to have the opportunity to expand with growth, but also be able to slim down if required. If I had signed a long term lease, I could have been stuck with an inadequate office space and forced to either rent additional space or sit in a rather empty room. Both of these alternatives waste precious business income. Citibase’s more flexible terms and full office management means RPD has the freedom to grow at the pace I want it to.”
Steve Jude, CEO, Citibase, adds: “The world of work has changed forever and Josh is a prime example of how today’s SMEs need more flexibility from their office space than ever before.”
“Owners of second hand office space need to accommodate the growing number of SME’s like RPD International, in order to support the future of Britain’s economy. The transformation of under-utilised office space into a flexible business centre can also become a successful investment model for property owners, who can generate a regular cash income from their asset.”
Citibase offers fully serviced business centres for cost-conscious SMEs in over 50 locations nationwide, including London and within the M25, Cambridge, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh.
Citibase concentrates on town and city centre locations and offers their customers over 1 million sq. ft. under management. Citibase’s unique disruptive business model brings together both clients and customers, providing solutions to property owners, by taking over the management of a building, allowing building owner Clients to generate a cash income from secondary office space with minimum stress whilst providing SME customers with cost-effective office solutions.
Celebrating 21 years, the business has at its heart the ‘Freedom at Work’ philosophy; a deep-routed commitment to support and nurture cost-conscious SMEs whether they are setting out for the first time or taking bigger steps on the path to growth. Being in a Citibase centre gives SMEs the independence and freedom to be freed from expensive rents and rates, inflexible terms, service charges, hidden costs and corporate restrictions, thus giving SMEs the ability to be in complete control of their businesses.