Envy: Dave Cadle
How to make a mark in a highly crowded sector -feeling jealous?
Soho, in the heart of London’s media zone, boasts more than 200 post production facilities. So how on earth does a new company make its mark?
Dave Cadle, managing director of one such outfit, the recently formed Envy, believes the answer lies in the facility’s hotel-class ambience and headhunted staff attracted by a degree of ownership. That’s why he committed £5.6m to making a 15,000 square foot space look spectacular, adding ‘creature comforts’, such as lounge areas and an in-house bar.
“Our clients are creatives,” says Cadle. “They know where they want to be. We based Envy on service and that’s where the hotel theme came in. We wanted a tranquil, calming atmosphere no matter how long clients stay.”
The take-off of former Blue Post Production director Cadle’s business is little short of staggering – and it’s not just down to the lavish surroundings, which include the latest technical equipment. He dismissed the industry view that revenues in high definition (HD) production were slim, did his research and opted to specialise. Already Envy – and the editing suites the facility boasts – have attracted the makers of Gordon Ramsay’s F Word, Big Brother and Little Britain’s Big Swim for the BBC, which followed comedian David Walliams’ cross-Channel swim.
Beyond that, headhunting a fully accredited team of producers and inviting them to invest £50,000 each alongside Cadle’s own outlay also sets Envy apart. “I didn’t want the hierarchy of: ‘I’ve got more shares than you.’ Now, I’ve got 15 managing directors who can look after the place,” he says.
Alan Skinner of Menzies Corporate Finance, who was instrumental in arranging the complex £6.5m financing via a high street bank, a handful of high net worth individuals and, of course, staff, says tying in talent with ownership has ensured a sense of duty and purpose among all the stakeholders, as well as providing a great sales story for clients. Cadle’s team didn’t take much persuading either. “We presented the proposal, income streams and salaries to Menzies and it happened within 10 days,” says Cadle.
Booked up since the day it opened, the future looks bright for Envy with plans to open another four to five areas in the building already. “Stage one is getting Envy trading, with a bit of branding so people see it and say ‘yes, it works, it happens’,” says Cadle.
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Proposition: Post production
Founder: Dave Cadle
Turnover: ?5.1m predicted