New data published in Growth Index 2023, the annual ranking of the UK’s 100 fastest-growing brands, shows that half of the companies have CEOs over 50 years old (50 per cent).
Almost all the leaders are in their 40s or 50s, having accrued substantial experience and while the founders of the company taking the top spot – Welsh premium drinks brand, AU Vodka – Charlie Morgan and Jackson Quinn, are also the youngest on the list, there are more Growth Index 2023 leaders in their 70s than in their 20s.
Could the government’s plans to entice the over-50s back to work amid fears the loss of early retirees’ skills and experience is hampering Britain’s economic recovery be validated? Growth Index 2023 indicates hard work, fresh thinking, and ambition don’t have an expiration date.
Launched in 2022, Growth Index has emerged as the definitive independent league table of the UK companies with the fastest growing sales, created to celebrate the companies that have supercharged growth and the leaders that have inspired and driven it. Companies are ranked by compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in sales over their last two financial accounting years (including filings up to February 2023). The ranking shines a spotlight on the most successful sectors and companies in the UK, championing good growth and the equitable democratisation of business opportunities in the UK.
Over 50, and fabulous enough to keep the economy afloat?
Fifty-four-year-old, Marcia Kilgore, the serial entrepreneur behind Bliss Spa, Soap & Glory, and FitFlop, and CEO of the premium beauty company, Beauty Pie, which is sitting pretty at no. 39 in the 2023 Growth Index, certainly doesn’t see age as a barrier. “My ambition is for Beauty Pie to be the most loved and trusted beauty brand in the world, with no limits. I’m like Al Pacino [in Scent of a Woman], I’m just getting warmed up,” she said.
Beauty Pie grabs its place in the Growth Index for the second year running, with a 220 per cent CAGR for 2023.
Kilgore came up with a direct-to-customer business model that cuts out the middleman. Members pay a monthly fee that allows them to buy transparently priced beauty products at discounts of up to 90%, while suppliers get consistent and crucially high-volume orders of luxury products, where they make a better manufacturing margin.
The Canadian-born, London resident was once quoted saying that she believes ‘when you retire, you die’ highlighting that she is one of many Brits in business for the long haul. With changes to the state pension age, longer life expectancy, and changes in retirement trends, it’s likely that more individuals over 50 will choose to return to work in the future.
Marcia continued, “With age comes experience – I’m more equipped to run a business with my decades of experience than I was when I was younger, so it would be a shame to give it up. It’s great to see many older people feeling empowered to stay in the workplace and be able to share their skills with the younger generation, after all, age is just a number.”
Orlando Martins, founder of the Growth Index and CEO of executive search consultancy ORESA, added: “There are many factors why people are staying or returning to the workplace at an older age, from the cost-of-living crisis to people generally living longer and wanting to do more with their time. It’s great for businesses to have multi-generational staff that can all share their learnings and expertise to build a successful brand.”