Published: 29 October 2015

Developing a niche product, dealing with crisis and building a balanced business

Surrey Business School welcomes John Bigos, Managing Director of London Duck Tours to our MBA Business Breakfast series.

“Remember cash is King and no matter what, ensure you maintain a balance between these four key values – Human Resources, Finance, Marketing and Strategy.”

John Bigos embarked on his MBA at Surrey Business School in the mid-90s and went on to buy out other shareholders in the city’s amphibious tour company to re-launch London Duck Tours. Reflecting on his time at Surrey and the skills he learnt, John described how the core values of his MBA helped him grow and develop the business and, more importantly, deal with the challenges that the company has faced in recent years.

In 2013 London Duck Tours was struck by disaster as one of its amphibious vehicles caught fire on the Thames, leading to a rescue by emergency services (no serious injuries were suffered), and an investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the London Fire Brigade. During the time that followed the company implemented new safety precautions and began to repair the damage the incident caused to its reputation.

Speaking directly to our current MBA students John was able to share his insight on how maintaining a “balanced approach”, recognising that “cash is King” and reacting quickly to the signs of a crisis has helped to make London Duck Tours a stronger business. “An MBA teaches you to take things in a calm and measured way. It also gives you the confidence to deal with challenges and note be overawed or depressed by them. I knew that if I stuck to the core set of values I had learnt, the company would be restored to good health.”

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About the MBA Business Breakfast

Once a month Surrey’s Connected MBA hosts the MBA Business Breakfast for current MBA students, alumni and new applicants. With guest speakers from a variety of sectors, consisting of MBA Alumni, key Surrey Business School contacts and MBA mentors our students have the opportunity to connect with business professionals and gain valuable insight and practical advise to broaden their thinking and bring real life experience to Surrey’s dynamic learning environment.

If you would like to find out more about Surrey’s Connected MBA visit our website or book onto an MBA Open Event.

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