My Influences: Ann Potterton

Please name an entrepreneur you admire.
Actually I could name several! At ITP we know several entrepreneurs who set up their own successful telecoms companies – many of whom started in the industry as apprentices. They are now working with us to offer apprenticeships with their companies and maybe creating entrepreneurs of the future.

What is your favourite film?
It’s hard to choose a favourite. My favourite film this year is ‘Bridge of Spies’ as I find anything about the Cold War fascinating. I was fortunate to have worked behind the Iron Curtain early in my career.

Favourite music or band?
I was a student in the 80s so if I were making a play list, it would include: Joy Division, Level 42, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Soft Cell, Ultravox etc etc.

Favourite TV show?
Prisoners of War – the original Homeland based in Israel. Find it on Netflix! Everyone I have recommended it to has loved it. It’s a grittier and scarier than Homeland and although the first couple of episodes are similar, it then goes off in a very different direction.

Favourite book?
I’m an avid reader so my favourite book this year is ‘All the Light you Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr – it’s a story based on French and German radio operators in WWII but really it is about humanity and decency. And, my favourite book of all time is probably Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

Favourite holiday destination? Cinque
Terre, Italy – beautiful coastline and amazing walking and swimming. It’s a UNESCO Heritage Site so there are no cars and no big brands.

What do you think of the Apprenticeship Levy?
At ITP we are completely pro any initiative that encourages employers to offer career opportunities to young people. We are waiting for more clarification on the Levy so I hope we will have a clearer view on it within the next few weeks.

One piece of advice to a new start up
Be clear about what you do and make sure you are communicating that to your staff and customers. And look after your best asset – your staff – you will work very hard as you set up your business but you can’t do it alone. A loyal team around you will help you succeed