MEET THE CO-FOUNDER OF FUSION STUDENTS
If you’re on this page, then you’ll already know a bit about who we are and what we do. But you might not know Nigel Henry, successful entrepreneur and co-founder of Fusion Students. Since opening our doors in 2006, we have tried to make the place you live more than somewhere you eat, study and sleep. In this Q&A we asked Nigel what the driving force was behind starting Fusion Students and what his biggest achievement has been so far. Here’s what he had to say…
Tell us about your business?
Fusion Students design student accommodation of the highest quality. We are constantly looking to see how we can ensure that the experience for our students is one that helps them with their studies and is memorable in so many positive ways for them going forward. We’ve got an amazing team of people, from those that trawl the country looking for the best locations for us to build, those that manage our construction and all of the team that stand behind them, to our amazing team that you’ll see everyday managing our homes.
What was the driving force for you to start your business?
We’ve been developing residential homes for many years and when I saw the standard of the student accommodation that my kids were staying in, I knew that with our design passion we could do so much better than what was available. For too many years developers in the student world were just looking at short term returns and not seeing the long term benefits of having exciting homes, which we are so proud of.
Within a few years of our first buildings opening, we had 50% more students stay with us for a second year than any other student building. We then knew we had success and wanted to expand to accommodate more students.
What are your business’ core values?/What are the key values that motivate you?
Every day, at Fusion Students, we must have fun. We must be totally open and transparent, bold in our goals and trusted and committed to providing a service that is second to none. The day we lose our love for what we do is the day we lose our customers. Most importantly seek to deal with others as we would have them deal with us.
My dad always told me, there’s only one thing you take to your grave – your name. This is a great reminder to always perform your best.
How do you overcome setbacks?
By trying not to have them! Sadly they do come from time to time, so I must be focused, determined and totally confident that I will overcome them. With every setback, it is always important to look at the positives. Through instilling postive thinking, you can reep positive rewards.
If you had one piece of advice for students setting out their own business, what would it be?
Be brave, reach for the stars and make it happen! But be patient, as we know, Rome wasn’t built overnight!
Also follow your passion, not the money. If you do what you love, success will always follow.
Are there any other brands outside your sector that you are following at the moment?
Loads! The absolute number one for me has to be Apple. I’ve also read a lot about Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts – a top end brand where the owner devoted his time to ensuring that, wherever you were in the World, the service was always of the same excellent quality.
What has your biggest achievement been so far?
It has to be my family (just in case they are reading this!). For work, my best day ever was about twenty years ago when I took my Parents to see our first large development and got to see the pride on their faces.
I am still totally overjoyed whenever I see students in our buildings, introduce myself and they tell me what a great time they are having living with us. I then repeat their story many times over, until whoever is next to me says, “I know, I was there!”.
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