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Under the spotlight: Phil Withers, director, Withers Holdings Ltd (MFG franchise)
06 August, 2019

Phil Withers - director, Withers Holdings Ltd (MFG franchise)

01 Career history: I started my career very early by working in my father's convenience store stacking shelves after school at the age of 14. In 2001 he retired so I bought the business; I developed it then in 2005 I sold it on for a very good return. In 2006 I joined Esso (ROC UK) and became one of their site managers. I managed many problematic sites, I went in and turned the stores around. I also became a training manager for new recruits. In 2008 I was given Barton Mills, which is one of the busiest sites for Esso. In 2015, Esso sold to MRH and I took over the franchise and have remained there, under MFG since the merger.

02 Dream job (if you weren't doing this): I would have liked to have been a pilot, as I love to travel.

03 What do you drive: An Audi SQ5.

04 What would you like to drive: Aston Martin.

05 Perfect day: A walk down the beach with my partner and my 12-year old Bassett called Ted.

06 Favourite team: I am not a huge sports fan, so I would say my favourite team is the people I work with every day.

07 Favourite read: I don't have much time to read as I am always working!

08 Favourite film: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

09 Best holiday: I have travelled the world several times over, however I really did like Aruba in the Caribbean for its laid-back approach and beautiful beaches.

10 Possessions you couldn't do without: My mobile phone, car and laptop.

11 Most admire: Steve Jobs.

12 Most likely to say: "Have the drinks been done?"

13 Least likely to say: "There's nothing to do."

14 Greatest achievement: Running my own businesses.

15 Greatest fear: Has to be heights.

16 Tips for business success: Listen to your staff and also your customers.

17 Best thing about your job: Being a transient site we serve very different people we have even served Prince Harry!

18 Pet hate: Lateness.

19 Thoughts on the forecourt sector: It's now all about food-to-go. Who would have thought, 10 years ago, that you would have been able to grab either a Subway or a Stone Willy's pizza, however you can now if you call into Barton Mills.

20 Three words to describe yourself: Energetic, strong-willed and loyal.


When a major car manufacturer like Ford predicts that sales of its electrified cars will outnumber petrol and diesel models by 2022, does that ring alarm bells about the possible speed of change for forecourts?