Pursuing a greener career after walking away from the black gold
For Mr Charger franchisee, Mike Rhodes, his new role couldn’t be as far removed from his previous career. After taking redundancy from the oil industry, he’s now leading the charge for greener driving.
You can’t help but be aware of the crisis facing the gas and oil industry, and the difficulties for those who work within it due to rising costs, and production challenges. The black gold of the past is no longer prized, as people look for more sustainable ways of living.
For Mike Rhodes, after almost 30 years of working in gas and oil, he knew it was time for change. “The oil industry is typically cyclical, affected by global economics and politics. The last few years have been incredibly difficult. Even though I’d enjoyed a fairly successful career, it became harder with each round of restructuring, to let go of exceptional people I’d worked with. It was during the final round of redundancies I was involved with, in the summer of 2021, I knew I had to go. Plus, I was aware of the changing attitudes toward sustainable living, thanks to my three children.”
Mike had worked up the ladder and was involved in business management. “I couldn’t keep going with the way things were looking, so took voluntary redundancy. After so long working in one industry, my next career move had to be right. I wanted to run my own business but was fully aware of how long it can take to build-up a brand. At this time of life, I wanted a more viable option. I wanted to invest in an existing business and grow it until I retire. And, I wanted something new, exciting, and more technology-based.”
Whilst speaking to his wife, one evening, Mike realised there might be a franchise worth investing in.
“She’s a sustainability director and told me about an Electric Vehicle (EV) expert who’d started working with her company. I felt a renewed sense of purpose as I searched for the right franchise and came across Mr Charger. The brand was exactly what I’d been looking for! In speaking with them, I quickly saw how good the business model is, and experienced how supportive the Head Office team are. I was sold! I made the investment and bought Mr Charger covering Milton Keynes and Banbury.”
Mr Charger installs EV charge points for both residential and commercial customers. With so many people switching to greener driving (EV sales overtook traditional car sales in March of this year, compared to the whole of 2019), more accessible charge points are needed. “It’s an exciting new challenge,” Mike says. “After reaching the top positions with global companies, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you know everything. Starting a business from scratch, I’ve realised I still have so much to learn. There are no finance or HR departments to lean on: I’m it. It’s busy. It’s refreshing!”
As he doesn’t have any electrical experience, Mike has employed engineers, to carry out the EV installs. “This gives me the freedom to focus on making connections with both commercial and residential customers around Milton Keynes and Banbury. We have an impressive number of industrial locations in this area. So, I’m keen to support businesses as they switch to greener driving for their fleets, as well as helping individuals find the right EV charger for their new car.”
As the father of three invests in the future of the planet with his new business, he’s enjoying a new-found respect from his kids, “They weren’t overly impressed with my previous career choice,” Mike laughs. “They, like most of their generation, are more aware of the need to switch to sustainable fuels. They now tell me how proud they are of me doing something progressive! Joking aside, I’m happy to be able to help others make a positive change. My team and I will be there to help make the process as easy and as pain-free as possible, so people can start driving green.”