5 minutes with Steve Robb

Managing Director

Fav thing about the office

Good banter

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up


Guilty Pleasure(s)

Strictly come dancing

Favourite Holiday


If I had a superpower it would be...

Mind Reading

Describe yourself in three words or less

Methodical, Energetic, Reliable

An interesting fact about me

Started “Work” life as an opera singer


Horse riding, fillet steak and a good curry

Favourite Band

…into Classical Music

Karaoke Jam

Desperado- The Eagles

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is to provide the overall direction and “eye on the compass” as to where we, as a team, are heading.

I’m still very much focused on the customer and will often get involved in customer solution discussions. As a techie at heart, I’m regularly seeking to understand industry developments and directional changes that may affect our customers, so we and our customers can remain on the front foot.

Background and Achievements

I started out in an I.T technical department of what was then British Rail, following which I joined a large construction company to re-organise their I.T infrastructure.

I then spent a couple of years as a business systems analyst at P&O Nedlloyd designing, developing and implementing systems within their Bulk and Tank Carrier companies.

In 1999 I was appointed as I.T Manager of SockShop and subsequently as of Head of I.T. at the Tulchan Group, comprising then of 300 stores. Due to a Year 2000 compliance issue, we were required to seek an alternative system, which we were able to more cost effectively write ourselves. This product subsequently became known as RAWHIDE and we later sold this product into a number of other businesses. At the time it was quite cutting edge as all the warehouse function was undertaken using handheld, wireless scanners, rather than the batch scanners that were dominant at the time.

In 2003 The Tulchan Group was acquired by Harris Watson. We were then asked to take responsibility for the I.T. of Viyella Ladies wear and in 2004 the demands of two MD’s and two FD’s (Tulchan Group + Viyella), resulted in the sensible decision to break out of the group and Q2Q was born. This then enabled us to also get involved with a number of other group companies (Harris Watson owned companies) as well as other non-group parties.  At one stage we were managing the I.T for almost 500 stores across a number of businesses.

Today Q2Q retains some of the group customers that we acquired along the way, as well as a substantial number of new and diverse customers in almost all industries including accounting, business development organisations, legal marketing, medical, retail and wholesale.

Hobbies and Interests

Horse riding, running (Jogging), motorbikes, reading any of the Detective Rebus stories.

In this Q&A, Steve Robb talks about his role as Q2Q’s development manager.

·         Describe your role at Q2Q in one paragraph

Since starting at Q2Q, I have been responsible for the development of SQL databases and reports for our clients and internal use. I’m also heavily involved in providing quick, accurate data feeds, macros and reports for our customers via Excel and Word, which means automating repetitive procedures to provide more accurate and efficient workflows. Additionally, I get involved in data integration projects, such as transferring data from SQL to the websites of our E-commerce customers, for their sales processing, stock control and product updates.

·         What's your favourite part of the job?

I love to see all the team smiling and enjoying what’s going on.

·         What does it take to be a great development manager?

You have to listen carefully to what a customer’s requirements are and be able to make productive suggestions, especially if they’re not completely sure about what they are trying to achieve. Logical thinking, planning and future-proofing are also central to effective coding, as you need to know it will work for the customer both immediately and in the future.

·         If your colleagues could sum you up in one word, which word would they use?


·         What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A professional musician.

·         The phone rings and it's your dream enquiry - who would the client be?

The client would be someone who understands the benefits and value for money they can get from an external IT company.

·         What's the biggest IT challenge facing SMEs in the current business climate?


·         If you could change one thing about the IT sector, what would it be?

I’d like to see honest, best prices from third party software houses so that you know each year, bar inflation, exactly what you will be paying. Price models that are built solely to suck you in are no good for anyone in the long run.

·         What are your hopes for Q2Q over the next 12 months?

I hope to see steady and controlled growth.

·         If you could pick any 3 words to describe Q2Q, what would they be?


Friendly, committed and honest.

5 minutes with Steve Robb