From bust to boom – bouncing back in the telco space

Having successfully reinvented himself from property speculator to tech entrepreneur, Mark Trowbridge's latest venture sees him launching into the highly competitive telcon sector

From bust to boom - bouncing back in the telco space

Having successfully reinvented himself from property speculator to tech entrepreneur, Mark Trowbridge’s latest venture sees him launching into the highly competitive telcon sector.

Having had a long career in various entrepreneurial pursuits, beginning in estate agency and property development and then into tech, Mark Trowbridge seems if not quite addicted to the allure of building successful businesses, certainly slightly intoxicated by it.

His latest venture brings him into the mobile tech space with the launch of ConXhub. The USP is….well, it’s…it’s probably best he explains to be honest.

“There are many,” he says, “but the biggest three are – Mobile First: It is the only provider to put your mobile phone at the heart of your communications, utilising the mobile cellular network for the ultimate in quality and connectivity, and meaning you don’t need to worry about additional equipment or trying to find a decent internet connection.

“Secondly, Multi-Number solution. You can add and use as many phone numbers as you require. Make and receive calls from existing business numbers, add personal direct dial numbers, marketing numbers, departmental numbers or numbers for new virtual offices anywhere.

“Lastly, Cost Savings and Increased Efficiency. It is a low cost all-inclusive solution, without the need for additional equipment, installation or maintenance, including International calling, unlimited phone numbers, SMS and IM, CRM integration, every phone system feature you could ever need, call recording, reporting and call centre applications.”

Trowbridge has lofty ambitions for the project. Nothing short of becoming one of the world’s leading telcos, in fact.

But, he acknowledges that it is a challenging sector to succeed in.

“Telecoms is a hugely competitive and crowded space,” he explains, “with some large, highly successful operators, so competing against their enormous marketing budgets and getting our message in front of people is challenging, but not impossible. The product surpasses all others from a technical perspective, and is gaining traction daily. So it’s step by step.”

After the property crash at the end of the eighties put paid to his business in that market, he started again, from scratch, in the technology sector

“Fundamentally, I have always loved technology and finding solutions to problems. All business is the same, whether selling ice cream or trips to space, and so it actually doesn’t matter what I do, as long as it is challenging and fun. There were many steps from estate agency to telecoms and then more steps to ConXhub, but I can honestly say although I have operated some incredible businesses in the past, ConXhub is the one without a ceiling, it can literally go anywhere and scale to huge heights. That fits my bill of being challenging and fun, where no day is ever the same.”

He says he did learn one valuable lesson along the way.

“Failure doesn’t exist, it is simply a lesson learned – where I have lost money, I call that ‘school fees’, it is part of the education process.”

Essentially it’s Nietzsche’s old “that which does not kill us, makes us stronger”, adage.

With that in mind, and with the benefit of a rearview mirror showing plenty of success since, he says he has no regrets about his life in business thus far.

“Whilst I might say; skip some of the truly hard times, I am not sure I would, as it’s these times that help mould you. I was a very young paper millionaire, I literally had the Midas touch and it was an amazing time, but I wasn’t a very nice person. Losing everything is a humbling time and has helped mould me, I really like who I am now.

“I have always had a very strong belief system, I have always believed in myself, in my potential and in my success. I have an incredible work ethic, so I always know that whilst others are out playing or sleeping I can cover more ground. Nothing stays forever, and I always knew it was only a matter of time before I was back on my feet. I guess the old adage “you can’t keep an old dog down”, is true.

“There are always people around you who will try to bring you down or not share your beliefs. You need to eradicate the naysayers from your life, even if it is family, and surround yourself with positive people. Negativity will set you back.”

These days, as well as mounting an assault on the telcon sector, he does a fair amount of public speaking, passing on his lessons from decades at the sharp end of business.

“As long as I can offer the audience good advice, lessons or tips; strong take-aways, I am happy. There is no point in talking for the sake of it, the audience has to feel listening to me was good use of their time.  Time is the ONLY commodity we can’t create more of, so I am not going to waste mine boring people.”

And while ConXhub occupies his day to day at the moment, he also doesn’t rule out manoeuvres in other markets as well.

“So much has changed in the last 50 years, and all I see is change happening faster, which is exciting. I love telecoms, and we’ll be doing a lot more with ConXhub, but there are other channels that interest me, bio-tech, space, leisure, transport to name a few. New technologies are appearing and if there is one thing I have learned about humans it is that ‘if you can think it, you can create it!’.

“I simply want to carry on creating great solutions that people benefit from  using. I want our products and services, our brands and our teams behind them, to be recognised. That will be great.”

Click here to see Mark in action, check out his session at Elite Business Live earlier this year.

Ronnie Dungan
Ronnie Dungan

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