HOT 100 TRAILBLAZERS: Jonathan Gill, IT director, Watchfinder

Watchfinder’s incredible growth over the past decade just would not have been possible if the business had not pushed ahead with the sale of pre-owned luxury watches online at a time before the market even begun to tip in that direction.

So the work of IT director Jonathan Gill has been vital to say the least. Rather than relying on off-the-shelf software, Watchfinder depends on a custom, in-house built back office system named, appropriately, Backoffice.

“This system was improved and upgraded in 2015,” explains Jonathan. “Now Backoffice 6, It has made the website easier to operate and has generally sped up the whole process of Watchfinder, making our business model run smoother and more consistently. This system is constantly being bettered and improved, and it has recently been updated with a separate section for US/.com transactions and customers.”

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2015 also saw Watchfinder move its IT to Microsoft’s cloud, saying: “This technological advancement has made the business run smoother than ever across all fronts. The work me and my team have done in 2015 has been recognised by tech giants Microsoft. As a result of this, Microsoft and Watchfinder combined, as Microsoft filmed a case study on us which was published in early April this year.”

Away from the business Jonathan has conquered at least one of his fears, successfully completing a skydive, although he quite rightly admits it was a terrifying experience.

While other members of this year’s Hot 100 have selected a business mogul when asked for their most inspirational figure, Jonathan has selected someone closer to home.

“My Grandad. Born blind, he is now 94 and I learnt everything I know about work ethic, commitment and attitude from him. For example, despite having a small square of black and white limited vision, he used to cycle 12 miles everyday to get to work. Not just a hard-working individual but a brilliant on to. He set up the charity The Talking Newspaper and he is one hell of a piano player. He has taught me that no excuse is good enough and you can do anything you put your mind to!” With achievements like that, Jonathan clearly has a lot to live up to.

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