Frustration with low-quality in-ear headphones prompted Andrew Reid, 47, to start this Glasgow firm in 2011. RHA’s steel and aluminium headphones are sold online as well as through retailers worldwide, including the Apple store network. It ranked at No 54 in the 2016 Sunday Times Fast Track 100.
What inspired you to start your business?
I was frustrated that there wasn’t an in-ear headphone available that really represented good value for people like me who wanted good sound quality, but didn’t want to spend a serious amount money, so I decided to do something about it.
What has been your biggest challenge?
I think the initial stage of setting up the business was the biggest challenge. The company was started with £28k of personal capital; no one would invest in us because they thought we were mad to compete in such a mature sector.
What has been your best business decision?
Ignoring the people who thought it was mad to start a headphone company.
What has been your worst business decision?
I had a lot of business experience before starting RHA, so I’d already learned the hard way that decisions should not be driven by emotion, but should always be approached as objectively as possible, analysing potential benefits and risks.
Which business leader would you most like to share a meal with, and why?
Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, former CEO and soon-to-be chairman of the Lego Group. His work during his twelve years at the head of the company, taking it from losses to record-breaking profits, is indisputably impressive.
What company do you most admire, and why?
They are so many tremendous companies out there it would be difficult to pick one, however I truly admire any company that started today.