A young entrepreneur from Budleigh Salterton has built up a multi-million-pound company from scratch in just 18-months.

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Determined that age should not be a barrier to corporate success, Oxford architecture graduate Richard Phillips, 26, who lived in Exmouth Road until the age of 19, and his business partner Tim Bailey founded B38 Group in 2011.

The company, which specialises in commercial property maintenance and management, has grown at an impressive speed - they have just bought a construction company and this year they predict turnover of £500,000.

They have already built up an impressive list of clients ranging from Nationwide Building Society, BT Plc, Audi Volkswagen and the NHS Primary Care Trust.

He said: “We originally wanted to spend all our time on development sites but, with limited funding available, we had to diversify quickly into the service industry to raise some capital to fund our developments.”

Now the company offers landlords and tenants everything from emergency call-outs following an ‘incident’ to the management of properties.

He said: “The new construction teams will enhance the amount of fit-outs, remedial works and new builds that we can currently cope with.

“Clients have really stepped on board with the idea of having one port of call for all their property needs.”

With offices in Wakefield, Birmingham and Swindon covering most of the UK, Richard explains that B38 is looking to set up shop in Exeter.

He said: “An office to support this demand in the South West seems like the next logical step.”

But Richard didn’t always want to be his own boss – at school he harboured ambitions to be in the RAF. He said: “But I have always enjoyed design, which led me into the architectural world and on to the property and construction side of things.”

It was not until after he graduated and he worked for two architectural practices on opposite sides of the world that he wanted to set up his own business.

He said: “Having worked for a large corporate architectural practice both in London and Hong Kong, it was very appealing to want to run my own teams rather than work for 30 years before gaining that responsibility.

“I didn’t see why age should be a restriction to managing people and running projects.

“The corporate world was too focused around age and long term relationships with the company rather than who was the most appropriate person to deal with a job.”

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