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Business success not determined by degree says technology leader

20th August 2018

"Business success is still possible without a university degree" - that's the message today from the managing director of technology giant, Box.co.uk.

As tens of thousands of teenagers come to terms with their A-Level results, Box.co.uk MD Mark Jordan has issued a 'don't despair' rallying cry to those who have not achieved their desired outcome and a university place.

And Mark should know, as he dropped out of Aston University more than 20 years ago to focus on his technology business - which this year has a projected turnover of £42million.

"It's interesting to see how young people's opinions on university are changing," said Mark.

"University can be great for some, but it's not right for others.

"For me, I was more interested in starting my business and getting commercial experience under my belt.

"For those who haven't quite got the results they wanted this week, it is certainly not the end of the road. There are plenty of doors still open and things can be achieved in business through perseverance and hard work."

Mark's business dealings actually began before university at Old Swinford School Stourbridge when he would sell computers and components to teachers and fellow pupils.

He went to Aston University to study Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, where he continued trading in electronics from his room in halls, even employing two people to dispatch and deliver the items.

Eventually, though, Mark realised he couldn't manage his fledging business and commit to his studies so, having not attended as many lectures as advisable, he bowed out with a little over a term to go.
Mark set-up Xenex Technology in 1996 and began trading from a unit in New Town, Birmingham, before investing in the company's first official home a year later.

The business' e-commerce journey started in 2004 - and consistent growth has followed ever since. The company changed its name to Box in 2009 and bought the 40,000sq ft unit in Sutton Coldfield that is still home today.

From 2007 to 2010 the business saw compound year-on-year growth of 54 per cent.

Mark said: "University is crucial for some people going into certain jobs. That is not going to change.

"For me, though, it could've led me down a road I didn't want to go down. I was interested in the commercial side of things and how to monetarise my interest in electronics. The best way to do that was to get out there and make it happen.

"Box.co.uk is now in an excellent position. We have around 100 employees and we're looking forward to further expansion in the years to come."

Box.co.uk sells an extensive range of technology and computing products through its specialist website and retail shop, including laptops, desktop PCs, phones and tablets, components, monitors and printers.

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