Business & Finance chats to Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Drinks and JamJar Investments, about what makes him tick.
Q. What was your first job?
Picking up dog biscuits in a dog biscuit factory.
Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?
My greatest achievement to date? It would have to be Innocent.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
You get more by being nice than being nasty.
Q. If you could step into the shoes of one business person for the day, who would it be and why?
Richard Branson. He’s the entrepreneur’s entrepreneur and he’s just got such a brilliant, exciting and varied range of interests that he leans on, from making music to going into space. That’s pretty awesome.
Q. In three words or less, how do you define success?
Excitement and satisfaction.
Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?
By creating a sincere, aspirational, achievable and ethical goal.
Q. How do your relax?
I read, I run, I meditate and I drink.
Q. What’s your motto?
Live fast, die old.
Q. What are your aspirations for the future of your business?
To make the world a little bit healthier.
Who is Richard Reed?
Successful entrepreneur, Richard Reed is the co-founder of Innocent, the no.1 smoothie brand in Europe. The business was started from a market stall in 1999 by Reed and fellow Cambridge University graduates Adam Balon and John Wright and has grown into a business with a turnover of over £200m, trading in 15 countries across Europe. The Innocent business is led by a mission to ‘taste good and do good’, and gives 10% of profits each year to charity.
In 2013, the founders sold their controlling stake in Innocent – over 90% – to Coca-Cola in a deal valuing the business at over £320m but remain on the board as minority shareholders.
As well as co-founding Innocent, Reed is the co-founder of JamJar Investments, a company that backs young entrepreneurs; Art Everywhere, the world’s largest art show; and the Reed Page Foundation, a charity that funds peace-brokering and environmental protection initiatives.
Huddersfield-born Reed is also chairman of the Innocent Foundation and a patron of Peace One Day. He has, at various stages in his career, been a non-executive director at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, a director of charity Videre, and a government advisor on entrepreneurship.