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Riding The Crest Of The Wave - Part 1

My career has been fascinating ...


Posted by Pritesh Ganatra on 27/02/2024 @ 8:00AM

It's November 1990 and I am a fresh-faced salesman working in the flagship Dixons store at the Clarendon Centre in Oxford. Only having been there about two months, I was thrown into the deep end as it was the run-up to Christmas ...

Working in the flagship Dixons store at the Clarendon Centre in Oxford was the start of my career!

Working in the flagship Dixons store at the Clarendon Centre in Oxford was the start of my career!

created by dall-e / open ai

Sir Stanley Kalms (Baron Kalms, House of Lords since 2004) was about to visit and I was very nervous as I had heard great things about the man and how he built the Dixons empire. He incorporated Currys electrical and MasterCare repair service, forming Dixons Stores Group/DSG following the humble beginnings of joining his Father at the family-run Dixons Photographic shop in Southend in 1948, at the age of 16.

"His father had been operating since 1937!"

I was standing in the middle of the shop floor trying to avoid Sir Stanley, as he was at the time, but he had other ideas. He liked to talk to all the staff and I was one of the newest there, with the least to say. However, lucky for me, he asked very open questions and put me at ease almost immediately. "How long have you worked at the store?" he asked, followed up with, "How are you finding the work and are you enjoying it?" and it was the final question that allowed me to puff my chest out and be ultra-confident when he asked, "Tell me, young man, have you sold much today?"

My proud reply was, "Yes sir, actually I have sold my first Camcorder. A JVC GR-AX7!" Sir Stanley, still having a massive interest in some aspects of items stocked in stores was suitably impressed, as the GR-AX7 at the time was around £800.00 so a pretty good sale for a newbie like me.

"That was my first master class in leadership!"

Sir Stanley said well done and to keep up the good work and shook my hand before he moved on and I grew in leaps and bounds after that. In 1991, I was sent to Amstrad HQ to learn all about the Intel 286 chip-based Amstrad PC2286 Personal Computer. Although first launched in 1989 with a 5¼" floppy drive. On that day, we were shown the upgraded 3.5" plastic-enclosed (not-so) floppy drive.

The price tag with 1Mb RAM and 40Mb of ROM was £2,500.00 plus VAT from the business centre at the back of the store, along with the new, up-and-coming Psion Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) series 3.

There was a range of cordless home phones like the ones as you would have seen on the TV show Dallas, large screen TVs were the size of a small chest of drawers and required three people to move them around. Camcorders and cameras were also my favourite items to sell at the time. I especially became very attached to Nikon SLRs and am still very fond of the brand.

"In 1995, I joined British Telecommunications PLC!"

I worked in the Business Showroom, which was on the first floor of the main shop that sold residential equipment. This included Fax machines for home use, cordless phones (later the new digital DECT range), pagers, including Swatch wearable pagers, and mobile phones (later SIM-based GSM standard).

Learning about Featureline (aka Centrex), the first hosted telephone solution as well as the Nortel range of phone systems. This was the premium brand of systems at the time and we also had a succession of budget equipment manufactured by Lake Communications in Ireland in the form of the BT Revelation, Inspiration and Versatility over the years.

The Nortel catered from eight users up to thousands in the form of the Compact/Compact Plus, mid-sized meridian and then Option 1 and Option 11, being the large and Enterprise models.

In 1997, the showrooms were closed and I went into the Business call centre. The first dial-up disks were beginning to emerge that allowed customers to have a BTconnect (later BTinternet) email address.

To be continued ...

Until next time ...



Would you like to know more?

If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about my career and how I've been riding the crest of the wave, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 01604 926100 or take a look at my website which you can find by clicking here.

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About Pritesh Ganatra ...


The word 'Technology' has too many connotations in today's world!

Where do we start? Simple terms like 'IT' and 'Telecoms'? or terms that appear NOT to have an actual meaning at all!, e.g. 'Internet of Things (IoT).

Technology also encompasses specialist products and services like 'Rugged' and 'Tough' android devices, Lone Worker Software, panic alarm devices, smart energy devices, low energy lighting, credit card terminal (PCI DSS) security, indoor/ outdoor Wi-Fi systems, Ultrafast Gigabit internet connectivity, access control systems, industrial IoT circuit controllers.

BTS UK can consult from simple solutions to the most complex, provide some of the products through a wholesale channel, bring together a multi-disciplined 'Task Force' to deliver and implement complete Technology 'projects'.

I am your technology problem solver and I look forward to helping you.


01604 926100