Since Rob Pritchard joined Britvic Plc, owner of household soft drinks brands, Robinsons, J2O and Fruit Shoot, the company has almost doubled in size.
As group IT Director from 2005, Rob has helped transform the way people work within the company, putting the IT department at the heart of business. Part of this transformation has been working in partnership with Staffordshire University to develop and introduce academic awards for staff.
The negotiated work-based learning awards, which range from Foundation level to Masters, are part of a wider project that has generated funding, multiple student placements, and PhD case studies and publications.
Rob said: “Whilst the partnership we have with Staffordshire University goes back ten years, it has become far more ambitious in the last three. In 2008, following a Royal Academy of Engineering funded study, we identified an opportunity to accelerate the development of our staff, building their professionalism by working with the University.
“No such awards framework existed in the UK, but Staffordshire University worked with the Britvic team to develop what has subsequently been used for a number of leading UK organisations.”
He added: “My goal is to make Britvic the university, encouraging on-going learning and development and tailoring awards to the commercial needs of Britvic and the prior experience of the individual. We’ve seen some really practical and positive changes in people; gaining qualifications increases their effectiveness in the work place, builds confidence and has led to promotions into new roles.”
Rob started his own career studying for a computing degree at what was then Plymouth Polytechnic. Since then his work has focussed on the IT side of business, spending eight years at Hewlett Packard before working as a Freelance Management Consultant. He then joined Deloitte, rising to the post of Director, where his clients included the company he worked for, Britvic.
In 2009, he was promoted to Group CIO within Britvic. However in 2014, he left to be a Freelance Consultant and visiting Professor at Birmingham City University. He took a step further and co-founded Tandem Labs; a UK and US based start-up developing digital solutions to support universities engage and retain more students. Continuing to support the Business Technology community he became a Business Technology Leadership Mentor for Searchlight Consulting. in 2019.
The Award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Rob, for his work to drive business performance through strategy and technology change. It also recognises his role in the successful partnership between Britvic Plc and Staffordshire University.