As a former Royal Marine, Barry Nash was a member of an elite corps. It’s a word he can’t escape – his current role is Director, Sales & Marketing at Elite Mobile…
He grew up in Bognor Regis and has fond memories of the town – unlike King George V who reportedly muttered, “Bugger Bognor,” on his deathbed. “I enjoyed it and still have family connections there. At school I was more an athlete than scholar and although I gained five O levels, paid more attention to football, rugby and tennis.”
On leaving school he joined the Royal Marines, gained the coveted Green Beret and enjoyed service life for three and a half years. “I was with 42 Commando and had tours to Northern Ireland, Arctic training in Norway, training in Puerto Rico and so on.”
There was time for tennis, which remains a passion. “I’ve played for the Sussex county team in all age groups and still turn out for the veterans. But I also made the Royal Navy team for the Inter-Services Championships on three occasions and had the privilege of playing at the All England Club, Wimbledon.”
Ready to go
On returning to civilian life in 1979 his sporting enthusiasms led him to the leisure industry where in eight years he rose from sports centre supervisor to promotions and marketing manager.
“I decided to catch up on my academic qualifications and, while still working, gained diplomas in Management Studies and Direct Marketing at Kingston University. It was a demanding schedule, but well worth it.”
He joined an incentive travel company in 1987, where he marketed travel rewards to corporate clients before switching to the nascent mobile industry in 1988. “I was a Dealer Marketing Manager at Talkland and moved to Vodafone in 1989 as Business Manager responsible for several service provider accounts.
“I had an opportunity to join Ericsson in 1993 when it launched its mobile phone division. I was the fifth person to join. It was an exciting time just prior to the launch of GSM and, from Account Manager, I became National Sales Manager and, in 1996, Sales Director for the UK and Ireland.
“After Sony and Ericsson joined forces in 2001, I moved to Generation Telecom – part of the Phones International group – as a member of the start-up team. It was a very successful Vodafone and O2 service provider and when it was sold to Vodafone in January 2004 I stayed on for a few months to ensure a smooth transition.
“I then took up consultancy work with several former Ericsson colleagues. Among our ventures was the import of handsets from China. Finally, in April last year, I joined Elite Mobile.”
His first year at Elite has been happy and productive. “The business is growing: we are setting demanding targets and doing well. It’s a friendly environment and we have a good team.
“Quite apart from the handsets and accessories you would expect, we have high expectations with a Sat Nav product for which we have exclusive distribution. It’s called Navig8 and talks to you as it delivers map information to your mobile.”
Nash goes home to Ewell Village – handy for Epsom racecourse and handy, too, for the tennis club that’s only 10 yards from his back garden. “It’s like having your own tennis court without the bother of upkeep.”
He heads a sporting family. His wife, Kim, a science representative who works in the education sector, is also a trampoline coach.
His daughter, Charlotte, whose aim is to be a TV presenter, and who works at BBC White City, works out regularly at the local David Lloyd gym. Gregory, his 15 year-old son, is a keen tennis player, competitive swimmer and is about to take his karate brown belt. “When he beats me soon at tennis, the champagne will be waiting on ice,” smiles Nash.
A busy Nash has little spare time although he is an avid reader of serious magazines. “I like to keep up with current affairs and business issues.” While relaxed and even-tempered, he admits to annoyance when people make promises and don’t deliver.
And his big regret?
“That Brighton Football Club – the Seagulls – in their brief glory years, just missed out on beating Manchester United in their one Cup Final.”
1976-79 Royal Marines
1979-87 Leisure industry – Sports Centre Supervisor, Promotions and Marketing Manager, Incentive Travel Marketeer
1988 Dealer Manager at Talkland
1989-93 Business Manager at Vodafone
1993-2001 From Account Manager to Sales Director at Ericsson
2001-04 Sales Director,Generation Telecom
2004 Consultant in mobile industry
2005 Sales and Marketing Director, Elite Mobile