Q&A with Ryan Collins-Thomas, Business Development Manager

As part of our series of ‘Meet the Team’ blogs, this week we’re sitting down with Ryan Collins-Thomas, Business Development Manager and founder of BaseKit’s inaugural bowling league.
How long have you been at BaseKit?

I joined last April, so I’m actually celebrating my one-year anniversary soon!

How did you get into the industry and company?

I studied Business Management & Marketing at university – partly because I used to do tours for prospective parents at my school, and so many of them asked me if I was going into marketing! At university, I realised sales was much more my thing.

Once I graduated, I wanted to get a better idea of how startups worked, and to know what it would be like to start a business one day. I found a company called Shoprocket through Seedcamp – the same seed fund that BaseKit won back in 2008. I actually entered into a discussion with BaseKit as part of my role at Shoprocket, and thought it seemed like a great company. Fortunately, when I eventually decided to leave the bright lights of London to return to the West Country, BaseKit were hiring!

Gearing up for a World Record Attempt
You said you’d like to start your own business one day. What would your company be?

I think as long as it’s a viable idea and you go about it the right way, it doesn’t matter too much what the business is. Having said that, I’d love to open a sandwich shop. It helps to be passionate about your business, and I’m passionate about sandwiches.

[Interviewer’s note: there followed a long discussion about the key components of a good sandwich, and the best sandwich shops in Bristol. The passion is definitely there!]

What does an average day in the office look like for you?

I get into the office at about 9, and start by responding to any inbound enquiries that have come in since the day before. My days are pretty varied, but I might spend my morning on a mixture of introductory or demo calls with prospective partners and outbound work (reaching out to potential prospects).

Lunch is at about 12.30, and I normally pop out to Sainsbury’s (or make myself a Huel if I’m feeling guilty about spending too much money over the weekend), and then eat with my colleagues in the lunch area.

In the afternoon, I often spend time pulling together supporting documentation for partners – anything from market opportunity documents to product slide decks or commercial proposals. At around 5, I head to the station to catch the train back to Bradford-on-Avon for the evening.

Enjoying the best of Bristol with co-BaseKiteers Dom and Rory
What’s the best thing about your job?

Being ‘on the front line’, and being the point of contact from someone discovering the company to their potentially becoming a partner is really interesting, and feels important. You also live or die by a number, which can be tough but is very motivating.

What’s been your biggest achievement since joining the company?

It’s a tie between engaging with some amazing companies and setting up the BaseKit bowling league!

How do you spend your spare time?

Getting brutally beaten at rugby as part of the Bradford-on-Avon rugby team, spending time with friends and family and cooking (and making sandwiches).

If you weren’t a business development manager, what would you be?

A thespian! After playing my standout role as The Grand High Witch in The Witches at school, I caught the acting bug. When I applied for university, I had to choose between drama and business, and I chose the latter. These days, my acting skills are mostly just used for messing with people in the office.

Do you want to find out more about life at BaseKit? We’d love to hear from you! Take a look at our careers page to learn more about us and see a list of current vacancies. If you’d like to connect with Ryan, you can reach him on partners@basekit.com or on LinkedIn.

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