Firm That Offers SMEs Grey Hairs in the Boardroom International Expansion

A South West firm which helps SMEs to scale up rapidly by giving them access to experienced part-time directors is continuing its international expansion.

Bristol-based Boardroom Advisors. has appointed entrepreneur Mike Gray, the former founder and managing director of South African Express Airways, Federal Air and Uniglobe Travel SSA to spearhead its operations throughout Africa.

Gray, who trained and worked as an accountant before becoming an entrepreneur, will be using his director-level experience to support airline, light manufacturing, mining, private equity and tech firms.

Joining Gray is tech entrepreneur Ani Gupta, who has worked with scale-ups and some of the world’s biggest brands such as Pfizer and Sony. Lisbon-based Gupta will be offering his advice to SMEs worldwide, drawing on extensive experience gained in Europe, India and across the USA, to build businesses with a distributed and remote team approach.

The announcement follows quickly on the appointment of Madrid-based Antonio Aznar Domínguez who is building-up’s presence in Spain.

Boardroom Advisors aims to disrupt the recruitment market by providing direct access to a talent pool of part-time executive directors for commercial, operations and CEO roles. It allows scale-ups, SMEs and their private equity backers to rapidly fill gaps in the management team, with no recruitment fees and a fraction of the cost of a full-time hire.

Ani Gupta says: ‘Many professionals are working remotely, so why not access crucial business advice in the same way? It means the right skills can be delivered to the right people wherever they are based.

‘However good a tech company’s concept and team, it often only has a small window, perhaps 18 months, to secure funding, develop the service or product and build a client base. There is so little room for mistakes and many potentially great firms fail.’s concept eliminates many of the mistakes that gave us grey hairs and which we can help SMEs avoid.’

Mike Gray, who divides his time between Cape Town and Mauritius, says: ‘Boardroom Advisors is a model which can work anywhere, be effective and offer value. I’m looking forward to building up the team in Africa and help some exciting, ambitious SMEs grow and enable directors to exit if they wish.’

Boardroom Advisors was founded by Bristol-based John Courtney, who has founded seven businesses and been listed as one of the country’s top 100 entrepreneurs.

Courtney says: ‘The concept is proving popular with directors, both those working as part of the Boardroom Advisors team and SMEs that want advice that can make a real difference in these challenging times.

‘We’ve put much of our UK team in place, some 80 ‘grey-haired’ directors that will be invaluable to SMEs and we’re building the model globally which is already proving its worth in the UK.’

Originally published by Entirely Media

Written by: John Courtney

John is highly ranked in the Top 100 UK Entrepreneurs list by City AM and is winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from techSPARK. He has been a Board Director himself for over 40 years and first started placing Non-Executive Directors over 25 years ago. John founded and ran seven of his own businesses including a Management Consultancy for 10 years, a Corporate Finance offering for 10 years and a mid-sized Digital Agency for another 10 years.