12 / 02 / 2020 / Tagged: News

Exclusive Business & Northern Insight – Jason Knights February lunch Wynyard Hall

One thing that all of our business lunch speakers have had in common is that they are all just a little nervous before they stand up to address a room filled with their peers and sometimes friends and family. Understandably so, it is not as easy as it sounds. Our most recent speaker was certainly more nervous than most as he started his presentation but by the end we all wondered why.

Jason Knights is MD of Blue Kangaroo and one of the nicest people you could hope to meet. From their offices on the quayside in Gateshead Blue Kangaroo deliver creative content to a global client list that includes Disney, Pixar, Mattel, National Geographic and Warner brothers to name just a few. What Jason and Blue Kangaroo have achieved is quite exceptional.

Going way back to the beginning Jason had a tough childhood as an Army family they moved constantly, never staying anywhere long enough to put roots down and often the victim of school bullies. As a result Jason did not engage with education and left school without a qualification to his name and so planned to join the Army. However the Army require qualifications and fitness, neither of which he had but back in the day having a Dad who had served in the Army opened the doors.

Jason should have been set for an Army career and he was quite happy with this until it was cut short by an incident that left him with amnesia for 6 months and medical discharge.

Luck was not on Jason’s side at this point in life; job after job followed with a common denominator of his employers going into administration. The turning point came when Jason called time on this career trajectory and decided to start his own design business, a fairly random decision for someone with no experience in the sector.

It is testament to Jason’s personality, tenacity and commitment that he won a great customer and quickly established a good business. Good was not enough and when challenged to win business from Disney he did just that, called them up, sold himself and went away with a contract.

The Disney contract opened doors to their competitors, Warner, Fox and Lucas films. The story is a great one and Jason definitely down plays how successful he has been at opening doors to some of the world’s best-known brands and globally acclaimed products. He has never deviated from his commitment to being based in the North East and using local talent, developing his team and showcasing the region and its skills.

As one of only 9 people in the UK to have won a Board of Trade Award for export, this accolade is something that Jason is very proud of and Blue Kangaroo continues to be the fastest growing export business in the region.

In all honesty we could write reams as an overview of Jason’s presentation, there were so many great anecdotes and inspiring insights, the lows were not glossed over, it was an honest account of Jason’s business journey so far.

We think now he has got over the nerves Jason he should come back and speak again to let us know what happens next on his rollercoaster journey.

Huge thanks to Jason for his honesty and bravery in standing up there!

Event photographs by Laurence Sweeney Photography view here 

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