IT WAS only after Kieran Smythe left Coleshill School to become a concrete slab maker and later an office junior in an accountancy firm that he discovered his true vocation in software sales.
And the rest as they say is history.
Now Kieran, 45, who was first helped on his way by a truly inspirational sales manager mentor is our latest Solihull Observer and Marriott Forest of Arden Six of the Best Business Award winner.
He switched from sales into training, launched KS Training Ltd in 2012, moved into the newly opened Council sponsored Solihull Enterprise Centre with a staff of six in January 2015 and now heads a team of 29 who deliver apprenticeship training services across a range of disciplines.
“Coming across a sales manager who was so enthusiastic and inspiring was a real turning point in my fledgling career,” said Kieran who later became involved with a small company selling home computers to schools.
“We started making our deliveries by van but business was so good for a couple of years that we ended up using articulated lorries.”
Then Kieran switched to a large US company selling equipment linking front office and back office computers and ended up flying to their head office in Seattle to pick up an International Salesman of the Year Award.
“But then a point came when I began thinking it was time to begin working hard on my own account instead of for someone else,” he added.
Today his KS Training Group deliver apprenticeship training in health and social care, team leading and business administration across the midlands region and have helped around 400 people complete their apprenticeships over the past two years.
Marriott Forest of Arden Manager Markus Marquadt, who presented Kieran with his award, said his was a truly wonderful story of enterprise and she hoped it would help inspire young people to take up apprenticeships and to make a success of their chosen careers.