Network of Tomorrow with Ryan Grant and Ruaridh Jackson

On Thursday 14th of September, Fraser Burnett in partnership with The Garden Shed Drinks Company, hosted the inaugural event in the new series ‘Network of Tomorrow’. This newly established event series aims to connect the next generation of leaders within the Scottish intermediary market. Fraser shares some highlights from the first event in the new series below.

The purpose of the event series is to facilitate connections between the next generation of leaders within the Scottish intermediary market and to support them in building long-lasting meaningful relationships. It was fantastic to be in a room with such a diverse group of professionals and see connections being made.

Our aim when planning the event was wanting people to connect, but also wanting people to genuinely enjoy themselves. I also wanted the chance to explore the connections between sport and business that I made in my previous article. Consequently, this inaugural event combined a Q&A session with ex-international rugby players Ryan Grant and Ruaridh Jackson and a whisky-tasting experience hosted by Ruaridh.

Ryan has fully embraced his entrepreneurial ambitions and owns two businesses: The Garden Shed Drinks Company and Caledonian Cask, which is a whisky-focused company. Ruaridh, meanwhile, has his feet in both the entrepreneurial and corporate worlds, co-owning The Garden Shed Drinks Company and working as a Private Client Manager at Glenturret.

This first event in our new series could not have gone any better. On arrival, everyone was treated to a Gin cocktail courtesy of The Garden Shed Drinks Company and it’s safe to say they went down well! For me, and quite a few others, the Bramble Peach Gin was a big hit.

After everyone had a chance to mingle and relax after a busy day, they took to their seats. After a short introduction from myself, we had a Q&A with both Ryan and Ruaridh. They gave us a great insight into what it is like to transition from professional sport into business and their thoughts on the similarities between the two worlds. It was clear there were many challenges to starting their business (particularly Ruaridh nearly going blind – reach out to find out more!), but I think what set them apart is their ability to bounce back, learn from their mistakes and go again, something they also both did extremely well in their rugby careers.

We then moved on to the whisky-tasting section of the evening where we were in the capable hands of Ruaridh. We were treated to two very nice Glenturret whiskies, both very different and it was fascinating to hear more about the two different flavour profiles. Can’t quite call myself a whisky connoisseur just yet!

The feedback we’ve had from the event has been fantastic, with people referring to the evening as “one of the more thought out and purposeful events I’ve been to this year” and “a brilliant evening, with brilliant company”. Most importantly, it was fun!

Our hope is that we have set the bar high and that the event series continues to be a platform for building a stronger and more connected Scottish intermediary market. These events are only as good as the people who attend, and we’ve already had several people reach out asking to be included in the next evening that will take place early next year in Edinburgh. Please get in touch with Fraser Burnett at [email protected] if you’d like to join us and be part of a growing network.