Saltire 10th Birthday - Post 6 Janine Watson

If not for my Saltire experience, I would still be wearing the black suit arguing over the same clauses

“Since the formation of the Saltire Foundation in 2007, our Saltire programmes have been on quite a journey. We have supported over 900 individuals that have taken part in our world-class leadership programmes, many of whom have heightened their ambitions and achieved things they never thought possible. Our mission has always been to find, fuel and spark the next generation of leaders for Scotland, and looking back over 10 years of success it is clear we have some of the most talented, determined and capable leaders within our alumni. Now part of Entrepreneurial Scotland, our alumni are part of a wider network influencing economic and social change for our country. To celebrate 10 years of Saltire, we will be shining a light on 10 inspirational alumni members, over the next 10 months showcasing their fantastic journeys since taking part in our Scholar or Fellow programme”

- Sandy Kennedy, Chief Executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland


Post 6: Janine Watson, Director of Private Equity at Badenoch & Co and Saltire Fellow 2014-15:

The Saltire Fellowship came at an exciting juncture of my life and career. After a decade as a lawyer working internationally and in Scotland, I wanted to broaden my horizons and be more directly involved in business. I concluded my last deal in April 2014, went sailing round the Cyclades, sold haggis at the Royal Highland Show, interned at Money Dashboard, then embarked on the 2014/2015 Saltire Fellowship.

The Fellowship provided me with the unique opportunity to reflect, reassess and refocus outside my usual environment. It was fascinating being in Babson discussing case studies with lecturers who are also business leaders and working on live projects with professionals from a variety of sectors. Outside of the classroom, along with two other Fellows, we used the commute from Babson to Norwood as a training run which allowed me to compete in my first half-marathon.

On my return to Scotland, my work experience was with Fine Coffee Club. Set up by two experienced Scottish entrepreneurs, it sells Nespresso compatible coffee capsules. My role included sourcing products which complement coffee, working in customer service/complaints, packing orders in the warehouse, designing a customer feedback questionnaire, sending it out using MailChimp and analysing the data – all firsts for me and a world away from life in a black suit! I was delighted when customers responded to my questionnaire (rather than just hitting delete) and felt a sense of achievement when products I had sourced and designed were purchased.

On graduation from the Fellowship, I moved into the private equity sector joining Badenoch & Co. in May 2015. This is a boutique investment office established by a former senior partner of Charterhouse. Badenoch focuses on Scottish manufacturing businesses under its “MISSA” investment philosophy of “made in Scotland, sold abroad”. As Director of Private Equity, I am responsible for all aspects of Badenoch’s private equity investments including identifying companies, deal execution, investor relations and assisting senior management in our portfolio companies. Badenoch’s first investment was in Cashmaster International, which manufactures count-by-weight cash counting devices in Dalgety Bay. Badenoch’s second investment was in The Borders Distillery. Scheduled to open later this year, it will be the first distillery in the Borders since 1837. No two days are ever the same. Being creative, versatile and thinking outside the box are crucial to my role.

If not for my Saltire experience, I would still be wearing the black suit arguing over the same clauses.