Graham Robson

Business Doctor - Durham and Sunderland

Graham is a Regional Director for Business Doctors and a graduate of Hull University’s MBA program achieving distinction. Graham works with SME owners helping them develop and implement strategies for growth. Always an adventurous soul, Graham’s early career was spent in the Merchant Navy joining directly from school and served on deep-sea vessels before moving on to offshore support vessels, progressing to Captain.

He then spent the next 24 years of his career drying out, whilst working for the world’s largest supplier of marine support for the offshore petroleum sector, Tidewater Marine. Still hungry for travel, Graham held a number of international sales and operational roles within the publicly listed company, based in New Orleans, Singapore and then Dubai.

In 1996 he took on his first general management role, heading up a joint enterprise between Tidewater and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. Tasked with turning around an underperforming $25 million turnover venture before his employer’s impending departure, Graham of course succeeded, gaining an exit price way above expectation.

After a further three years as vice president international sales and marketing, back in his old stomping ground of New Orleans, Graham was headhunted and appointed to the board of V Group. His brief: to help this global marine services provider create a new income stream by supplying manpower into the energy sector. Over six years and from a zero-start, he built V.People into a $45m t/o company, contributing 30% of Group EBITDA. Eventually forming part of the leadership team preparing the group for a secondary buyout through to successful conclusion.

During this period, Graham initiated and led the $38m acquisition of RC Consultants, Norway’s largest staffing agency, subsequently managing post-acquisition integration and growth.

Marine recruitment remained the focus of Graham’s employment for the next six years, reinvigorating a failing internal recruitment business within AMEC (tripling turnover from £55m to £150m) and reviving the UK arm of global oil and gas recruiter Competentia.

His wanderlust (mainly) satiated, Graham now resides with his wife in the beautiful market town of Stockton –on-Tees. Self –employed for the first time, he is part of the national Business Doctors network and helps SMEs of all kinds to develop and implement strategies for growth.