Malek Rahimi, managing director, BDR Group, talks to Comms Business about his new role and his ambitions for the company.
BDR Group has entered a new era. Malek Rahimi was appointed managing director in February, 11 years ago after he joined the company as a technical support engineer. Over that time, Rahimi has fulfilled many roles including new business sales, head of account management and, most recently, group operations director.
When we caught up with him, Rahimi explained that it is “a pleasure to step into something knowing it from the ground up”. The formal announcement simply “cements what we’ve been working towards”, with Bahman Rahimi, CEO, working with Malek on mergers and acquisitions and John Donoghue, moving into the role of financial director. As managing director, Rahimi will work closely with the management team to develop sales, marketing, finance, service and support. He will also amalgamate and centralise services.
Building the business
The company has grown steadily, but Rahimi explained that this has moved up a gear over the past three years following his appointment as a director.
Rahimi explained that there are multiple drivers of this, but he and the company’s management team have brought “an abundance of energy and love for the business” to the table. He added, “I love seeing my staff happy, and I love seeing our numbers grow. We’ve been fortunate to find growth within the public sector, and we’ve been lucky that our cross-selling capabilities and acquisitions have helped us do amazing things.
“One of the businesses we bought in 2018, Icom, was delivering annual revenue of £8 million when bought into the group. Within 12 months, they had doubled in size organically turning over £16 million. The two companies coming together managed this just by introducing new products and sales strategies into the customer base. This is a great example of what [our] acquisition strategy can [deliver].”
Watching the business grow, Rahimi said, has been the most exciting change he’s seen in the business. “It’s in our tagline… we want to tirelessly pursue excellence to the benefit of our staff, suppliers and customers. We love seeing our performance and culture develop, with everyone working to a shared goal and vision at a shared pace. Seeing this growth [become a reality] off the back of sticking to our core principles is very rewarding and is, by far, the thing that gets me out of bed every morning.”
Last month, the company announced its third acquisition since Rahimi took the reins as managing director. ACR, Boffins and, most recently, Integratech have joined the BDR Group and have added more regional expertise across the business. Rahimi explained that, after a record year in 2020, the company used surplus cash to fund the trio of transactions completely independent of any borrowing. These acquisitions fit into the company’s strategy to move more firmly into the IT managed services space.
As for the future, Rahimi said BDR Group would continue to develop offerings for both enterprises and SMBs, with a particular focus on the public sector. He described the SMB customer base as the “backbone” of the business, due to customer loyalty, recurring revenue and a significant number of wrapped products and services.
The education sector is another area of opportunity, with BDR onboarding hundreds of schools over the next few months. Rahimi explained that these customers do not stem from BDR Group’s recent acquisitions, but from existing relationships and responding to RFPs.
Despite these particular sector spikes, Rahimi added that the company is “quite sector agnostic in the way [it] sells because technology has a place in all business of all shapes and sizes across all sectors”.
The company recently relaunched its indirect business as BDR Partners, and Rahimi said the company is looking to double its partner base over the next year. He added, “Working with us gives [partners] access to all our products and services, including our research and engineering support.”
In terms of the technologies that are seeing significant interest, Rahimi said, “There’s a huge push for VoIP and unified communications, but also for cybersecurity, networking, backup, and virtualisation. These are specific sort of cohorts of products that have various acronyms and buzzwords attached to them that people are looking at and want to understand more about.”
BDR Group, Rahimi explained, will continue to help organisations become “more secure, more resilient, and more efficient” because the company provides “technologies [that] can deliver on those three things”.
Main image: Rahimi is pictured second from left, alongside (left to right) Jon Buckley from Boffins, Tony Burrisson from ACR, and Ian Warr from Integratech.