“A man’s wardrobe is not complete without a decent watch, and we want to provide him with the world’s best options.” Those are the words of Toby Bateman, managing director of Mr Porter, who is on a mission to make sure customers have access to some of the most stylish and desirable timepieces around.
With the company celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, Toby is in a good position to reflect on the personality traits that have served him well in his role so far and he’s in no doubt that you can’t run a modern business like Mr Porter with a Sergeant Major mentality.
“I’m a bit of a perfectionist and expect the same from the people around me, but at the same time I’m quite laid back so I don’t think I stress people out. It’s very important in work that people get along, share the same passions and have the same vision for the business – you can’t do that by bossing people around the whole time and creating a hierarchy.”
This approach clearly resonates with partners, too. The company was recently appointed by Zenith as its exclusive online-only partner – a “truly great addition” to its watch offering, says Toby. “I’m so pleased they showed the confidence in our business to take, what for the watch business is, a momentous step,” he adds.
One of the next objectives for Mr Porter is to explore ways in which the business can grow its fine watch category. As Toby looks to make that happen, he will sensibly reflect on some of the words of wisdom that have come in useful up to now.
“There have been a couple of people who I’ve learnt from during my career,” he says. “One person taught me never to be complacent – resting on your laurels is a dangerous thing to do! Another person taught me to be ambitious with my goals – I’m naturally quite cautious so I have to consciously push myself beyond my comfort zone when setting targets.”
Those targets will surely only get bigger and more ambitious as the business goes from strength to strength.