The spirit of George Mallory lives on... an interview with founder James Toller
Miron BykovLondon - 22/11/2019
Today we spoke to James Toller - Founder & Director of Mallory Group
Mallory Group, founded by James in 2016, helps brands and sports organisations increase commercial return and effectively engage with their customers through sponsorships and brand partnerships. The name of the company is an inspiration of George Mallory - who was the first to attempt climbing Mount Everest in 1924, a task which at the time seemed impossible.
Tell me about the day the idea was born. I always had the ambition to set up my own business. I used to work for an independent sports marketing agency and then went in house to work with a global brand in the manufacturing industry based in the Midlands. Having worked there for 5 years I decided it was the right time to leave and pursue my dream of running a business of my own. The timing coincided with that of my business partner, Emily Caroe, who was a similar stage in her career and had the same ambitions.
What was the biggest turning point in the life of Mallory Group? It was the day our first major client came on board, our founding client, AkzoNobel. We ran the communications for the team that they owned and was competing in the Volvo Ocean Race, a global round-the-world professional sailing race stopping in 12 cities over 8 months. This client allowed us to recruit talent into the business, establish ourselves in the market and build for the future.
Three top tips for aspiring entrepreneurs: 1.Take time to speak to people around you that you trust - There is plenty good and free advice within your network. 2.Ensure that you focus on the long-term vision – It is easy to get tied up in the weeds. If you don’t have a goal and a plan, you won’t know where you are going. 3.Take time to switch off from work – A fresh perspective is key to positivity and making the right decisions.
What gets you out of bed every morning? My three children! Once they have woken me up, it’s the desire to build a business with like-minded people and deliver great work for our clients, simple as that.
What did you want to be when you were little? I wanted to play rugby or cricket for England, representing my country. Sadly, that never came into fruition, however working on the commercial and communications side of sport is certainly the next best thing.
Favourite Disney character: Woody (Toy Story)
What is Mallory Group planning for the world next? We are almost three years in and for now it’s all about taking on more clients. To do this we are putting in place the key building blocks around our marketing and building Mallory Group’s reputation, instilling a robust business development process and investing in resources for the future. We are a people’s business and our recruitment decisions now will be critical for our growth in the future.