Trio of Business Visits

Business students at The Sixth Form College, Solihull have been on fieldtrips to London, Malvern and Solihull this term to see a range of the UK’s best international exports, each with their unique cultures and brand personalities.

The trip to London saw BTEC and A level students visit Fruit Towers, the UK headquarters of Innocent Smoothies, to see their unconventional business strategy. They learned how Innocent have gone from a small start-up to Europe’s biggest smoothie brand, with revenues in excess of £250m. The students were fascinated to learn about the company’s unconventional business strategy and workplace. On a guided tour, they were told that Innocent give 10% of their profits to charity, whilst also helping other independent causes as they arise. For their employees, they give the opportunity to win a £1,000 contribution to tick something off their “bucket list”. In addition to this, for breakfast and lunch Innocent offer free food (and smoothies, of course), for relaxation, a ping-pong and foosball table, and for team building, an open and flexible working environment that rivals Google.

Closer to home, students visited Gymshark HQ, based in Solihull. This is a young, internet-based business that has seen revenue increase by over 3,000% since 2013 due to their carefully targeted products and savvy use of social media influencers. Students learnt about how their 19-year-old founder started making clothes in his parents’ garage and now has customers in 180 countries and over 250 employees across three offices. Their Solihull HQ focuses on making their employees as motivated as possible, and students loved their on-site cinema, basketball court, yoga studio and nap pod!

Morgan Motors in Malvern was the third destination for Business students. In contrast to Gymshark, Morgan Motors is one of the UK’s longest established car manufacturers, having been building hand-crafted cars since 1909. The students learnt about their heritage, culture and traditional manufacturing techniques, and how this unique selling point has led to waiting times of over 6 months (previously 10 years!) and revenue increasing due to greater international demand for the inimitable wooden cars.

Business and Law Curriculum Leader Michael Albanese commented:

“We have given students three very different business models to use as case studies in their A level and BTEC work. Seeing how they each operate first hand was an invaluable experience for the students and we thank all three enterprises for allowing us to visit and get an insight into their business practices.”

10 April 2019