Picture 1On Monday 12th October 2015, MSDUK welcomed four highly enterprising business owners from its network representing FM industry to the first ‘Pitch Perfect’ event, hosted by Citi at its conference centre in London.  How was this event different from the usual ‘Meet the buyer’ event?

Well, for the first time, these four ethnic minority business owners had an exclusive opportunity to meet four prospective clients and pitch their business and for once, they had an opportunity to meet budget holders, category heads and Tier 1 suppliers, all together as a captive audience for 20 minutes! And over the course of the day, they got this opportunity to pitch to four different client panels!

For any small business that wants to do business with a large global firm, there are many loops they have to jump through before even getting a chance to bid for work. How to get a foot inside the door, who should they talk to, who are the decision makers, what’s the corporate culture, how to navigate its supply chain and how to find ‘the hook’ to be successful? All these challenges need to be overcome before the business gets a sight of the opportunity to bid!

pictureThe ‘pitch perfect’ event provided the opportunity to run ‘mini pitch panels’ where suppliers were briefed several weeks in advance, matched up with a corporate mentor with pitch experience and then invited along to the event where they spent an intense 20 minutes pitching their businesses to senior decision makers, budget holders and sourcing buyers, all in one room and in a safe environment which encouraged learning and development. The four participating EMBs – Britek Technologies, Braywhite & Co, Microfresh and TRS Ltd were given a chance to:

  • Participate in 20 minute pitch and dialogue sessions with 3 – 4 panellists comprised of Head of FM/Real Estate functions, key budget holder, sourcing buyer and Tier 1 suppliers.
  • Receive a further 10 minutes of ‘on the spot’ buyer reflection on their team’s performance both in terms of impact/performance and how the offer was structured.
  • Be accompanied by mentors throughout their pitch sessions and use session breaks to refresh and incorporate open and honest feedback in readiness for their next pitch session.
  • Begin building a relationship with Corporates over the course of this exclusive Pitch Perfect event.

The event was opened by Dr Jane Ellis, the newly appointed Chair of the MSDUK Board and Head of Enterprise Supply Chain at Citi and was attended by KPMG, AIG, Citi, Johnson & Johnson and Sodexo. The event saw extremely productive discussion and engagement between suppliers and individual panels and post event feedback suggests some genuine opportunities for the attending businesses. What was also quite unique about the event was access to a mentor for each business which was quite useful in improving their pitch as they moved from one session to another. The mentoring was provided by Virgin Trains, Merck Sharpe & Dohme Limited, ES-P and Arivu. Our suppliers were able to come away from the day having already received a huge return on investing their time.

Everyone participating agreed that this was an extremely efficient and productive process of genuine engagement between end users/ budget holders and small business owners. MSDUK will be putting together a white paper and a ‘pitch perfect’ tool kit to assist other corporate firms within the network to deliver similar events.

Corporatewear Provides a Solution to Enterprise Rent-A-Car for Branded Corporate Uniforms



Corporatewear UK has been trading from the early 90s’ with a background in manufacturing outer garments and work wear. Occupying a niche place in the market by supplying corporate workwear direct to large organisations and offering a wide variety of staff uniforms together with branding to suit all industries with all in house facilities has led to Corporatewear UK becoming a market leader.


Corporatewear UK has been an established and active member of the MSDUK Network participating in a number of events over the years and as part of the network Corporatewear UK was introduced to Enterprise Rent-A-Car and was included in the tendering process to supply branded corporate uniforms.   

The opportunity arose with an introduction via MSDUK and the first encounter was at an event held in London where I attended and Enterprise were exhibiting, I then followed this up and was contacted by one of the senior procurement team members. We continued conversations from there and it became an account for us’ Pawan Kenth, Managing Director, Corporatewear UK

‘We were looking for a vendor to look after the Enterprise Rent-A-Car North West Region’s requirement for corporate branded uniforms for valet staff due to increase costs from our existing supplier. We took the opportunity to contact MSDUK to see if there were any suppliers within our region who would like to be included in the tender process.                

Upon discussion with Corporatewear and the Enterprise UK Operations Supervisors and Managers we then asked for Corporatewear to put forward a tender based on servicing the entire UK’. Jon Crouch, Group Operations Supervisor, Enterprise Rent-A-Car   


After the tendering process Corporatewear UK was selected to supply branded uniforms for Enterprise Rent-A-Car staff.

Corporatewear was selected for its simple online ordering process, commitment to customer service, product quality, competitive pricing and business ethos. The majority of Enterprise regions now use Corporatewear as a provider for their uniforms.’   ‘Corporatewear has an efficient ordering process and offers quality products at fair prices. This partnership has been successful in helping Enterprise reduce costs and manage time more effectively.’

Jon Crouch, Group Operations Supervisor, Enterprise Rent-A-Car

FIS Provides PAT Testing for 48 Enterprise Rent A-Car Offices

PIcture 3Background:

Friendly Integrated Solutions Ltd (FIS) was established in May 2011 to provide integrated fire safety solutions and over the past 4 years has grown organically by providing excellent service to customers with an emphasis on customer relations.  

‘As a company we value ourselves on achieving highest possible accreditation at all times, through this we feel that our customers will receive the best possible service and they would have confidence in our brand. We are proud to be BAFE, FIA, Construction Line, and ISO9001 accredited company’. Abdul Tahid, Operation Manager, FIS.  

From 2015 FIS have increased their sphere of activity beyond Fire and Safety offering security provisions, construction engineering consultancy and media design. In order to gain more opportunities and increase their customer base FIS joined the MSDUK network in 2015.   


Through MSDUK, FIS was introduced to Enterprise Rent -A-Car as part of the extended network. This led to FIS being considered as supplier and consequently winning the contract to provide Portable Appliance Testing.      

‘The Enterprise Rent-A-Car North West Region was in need of a PAT Service Provider.  Our existing suppliers’ recommended three local vendors and we also reached out to MSDUK to see if they had any vendors who could meet this need.   Our requirement was to cover 48 locations across the North West and have works completed in a short time frame. MSDUK presented FIS, a young company based locally- we took the opportunity to meet with the directors and were impressed by the strong package they offered on such short notice.

FIS made it through to final selection and presented a unique time table with minimal downtime that works around the schedules and demands of Enterprise rental branches.   We chose FIS based on the determination and drive of the director to take their business up a level by focusing on generating new opportunities for their business whilst meeting the demands of ours. Their director has the same dedication as Enterprise when it comes to servicing customers. Additionally the price was competitive and favourable compared to the other suppliers in the tender process.   We are using Enterprise Rent-A-Car North West as a trial group and based on the service and outcome of the process we will be looking to recommend FIS to our colleagues through the UK’. Jon Crouch, Group Operations Supervisor, Enterprise Rent-A-Car  


FIS delivered the service successfully in the required time scale and were impressed on how the MSDUK Network enabled them to work with Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

‘To allow us to partner with the largest independent car rental company in the world speaks volume of the kind of work MSDUK bring to the table. It has benefited our company tremendously.

The sector we work in is a very competitive and difficult sector, to introduce your ‘small’ company to a large outfit like Enterprise can be very difficult, MSDUK has made this journey much easier now and I really hope we can be introduced to more companies and long may our business affiliation continue’. Abdul Tahid, Operation Manager, FIS.


Jane EllisMSDUK is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Jane Ellis, Manging Director: Head of Enterprise Supply Chain, EMEA, at Citi, as the new Chair. Jane takes over the role from 1st January 2016 for a three year term.

Jane brings with her over 22 years commercial, procurement and general management experience, the last 15 years at Director level and has been a Trustee and Board member of Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply 2001-2009 including serving as both Chair and President during this time. Jane has a PhD from University of Bath on Commercial Relationships for Supply. Jane is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Procurement And Supply since 2005.

Welcoming Jane as she takes over the role of MSDUK’s Chairperson, Mayank Shah, CEO said, ‘We all are excited to have Jane lead this organisation during this important period as we enter our 10th year and embark on an ambitious growth programme to expand our network of EMBs and corporate organisations and make inclusive procurement part of every corporate supply chain. Jane’s vast experience in diverse industries and procurement network and her visionary leadership will help cement MSDUK as the leader in supplier diversity within UK and Europe.’

Commenting on her appointment, Jane said, ’ I am delighted to have been appointed as Chair of MSDUK. An inclusive approach when building organisation’s supply chain is increasingly important if you’re going to demonstrate best practice as an organisation – but will also become something which distinguishes companies from their competitors. As MSDUK enters its 10th year, I hope many new organisations want to join the existing members of MSDUK to create a truly sustainable approach to diverse supply chains in the UK. The evidence is already very clear to me that with the help of MSDUK, large corporates can have a positive impact on building and supporting diverse businesses across the UK – but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.’

Pitch Perfect

picture 9Pitch Perfect is the latest MSDUK initiative aimed at providing EMBs’ that are part of the network a chance to engage with large organisations. This is as a free one day event offering the opportunity for four diverse, small businesses to pitch ideas to four ‘big businesses’ part of the MSDUK Corporate Network. The goal is to obtain feedback from corporate buyers and receive intensive mentoring over the course of the day on how to improve your pitch and impact in order be more successful in selling ideas, services or products to large organisations.

The event also aims to develop small businesses’ insight into the mind-set of corporate buyers and provide the opportunity for business owners to have an understanding of what potential corporate clients are looking for in a small supplier.

Hosted by Citi, the Pitch Perfect event focussing on the FM industry, will have Real Estate, FM teams and Tier 1 suppliers from AIG, Citi, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, ISS and Sodexo, they will meet four shortlisted suppliers from MSDUK network. The businesses selected to attend the Pitch Perfect event on the 12th October 2015 are Micro-Fresh, Braywhite & Co Ltd, TRS and Britek Technologies. These four businesses will also have access to their mentors from Virgin Trains, Merck Sharpe & Dohme Limited, ES-P and Arivu throughout the day .

This opportunity will provide each of the four businesses a chance to:

  • Participate in 30 minute pitch and dialogue sessions with 3 – 4 panellists comprised of Facilities buyers and key Tier 1 suppliers.
  • Receive 10 minutes of buyer reflection on their team’s performance both in terms of impact and offering.
  • Be accompanied by mentors throughout their pitch sessions and use session breaks to refresh and incorporate open and honest feedback in readiness for their next pitch session.
  • Begin building a relationship with Corporates over the course of this exclusive Pitch Perfect event.

This is a pilot project and if successful, will be rolled out to other members in other categories. MSDUK would like to thank participating corporate members, business owners and mentors for their commitment, efforts and support for this event and wish all four suppliers a very productive event!

UK EMB Delegation attending NMSDC Conference in San Diego

Picture 8As the NMSDC conference approaches a UK delegation of Ethnic Minority Business (EMBs) led by Minority Supplier Development UK (MSDUK) will be taking part in what is the biggest event dedicated to the development and support of ethnic minority businesses this calendar year.

The UK delegation will be represented by a number of innovative EMBs and corporate member’s part of the MSDUK network and they will be attending the NMSDC Annual Conference in San Diego USA between 17th -22nd October 2015.

MSDUK is proud to be part of NMSDC’s Global-Link network of affiliates and continues to work with global and British corporations in making supply chain diversity and inclusion part of their everyday business. In today’s interconnected world of business and commerce, minority businesses have even greater opportunities to grow faster and become global business leaders.

Over the last eight years MSDUK has become central to the growth and success of EMBs in the UK, connecting them to a comprehensive supply chain ecosystem, supporting them in their business and personal development through educational and mentoring programmes, and promoting B2B collaboration both nationally and internationally.

The UK Delegation and the individual EMBs that are part of it aspire to expand their business globally and are looking for partners and clients not only in the US but across NMSDC’s global link affiliated countries like Canada, South Africa, China and Australia.

Visit MSDUK and the Delegation at Booth 335 at the Business Opportunity Fair on 19th October, or email us to arrange a one to one meeting during our stay.

EMBs and Corporate Members attending the NMSDC Conference