An entrepreneur who was forced to leave his native Zimbabwe after his company was targeted by an official has built a thriving business in the UK within a year.
Craig Kuttner had 24 hours to leave his home country last year and relocated to West Berkshire with wife Robyn and two young children.
He rescued enough money to invest in VeriSmart – a paper-free inventory service used by landlords and letting agents – and now his team of six works across Berkshire, Wiltshire and beyond.
He lives in Compton Newbury and his business covers Thatcham, Newbury, Hungerford, Marlborough, Pewsey, Devizes and Swindon.
Despite his life being turned upside down and having to move his young family, he is not bitter and instead turned his attention to creating a new business.
He said: “In Triangle, the village in Zimbabwe where we lived, I had a very successful company offering both engineering and cadastral surveying, town planning, civil works inspections and drafting.
“We secured the works for a 20 year development plan for the country’s sugar industry, an altogether attractive picking.
“I had to leave immediately with the children and my wife Robyn followed soon afterwards.
“It was all very sudden and I didn’t know what to do, but luckily I was introduced to VeriSmart. I had a meeting, realised what a great opportunity it was and invested.
“My wife works with me and we have four other staff and now it is a case of building the business.
“We carry out inventories, check-outs and check-ins, do smoke and carbon monoxide alarm testing, electrical equipment testing and Legionnaires risk assessments.
“Letting agents using our service get a great product, on time, and are able to further focus on their core business.
“We cover a wide area, but that is nothing – getting suitable groceries in Zimbabwe used to be a six-hour round trip.
“I’ve had to learn about the industry and the areas we cover, but the business has grown every month.
“Our works include all types of properties – from small flats right up to 42 room mansions.
“I’m getting to know the agents and landlords and the VeriSmart technology is so good that when they see how accurate our inventories are and how quickly we can compile them, we get more business.”
Jonathan Senior, Chairman of VeriSmart, said: “Craig has proved that VeriSmart can work for someone even if they have just arrived in the country without any knowledge of the sector.
“With enthusiasm, hard work and the training we provide it is an opportunity that more and more people across the country are investing in.”
Notes to editors:
VeriSmart Inventories was re-branded in 2015 after developing its unique smart verification software that allows for the paper-free inventories to be compiled with speed and accuracy. The company was launched 25 years ago in the Bournemouth and Poole conurbation in Dorset, where it is still headquartered. The new technology allowed the business to adopt a franchise model. Some of its licensees make a substantial six figure income. It operates across England and now Wales.
For more information contact Ed Baker at Deep South Media on 01202 554601 or 07788392965