With over 30 years’ experience in the UPS industry, David Bond, Centiel UK, responds to a Q&A from Mission Critical Power Magazine.
Who would you least like to share a lift with?
Any politician or someone like Jeffrey Dahmer. Neither the thought of being talked into a coma or killed and then eaten are appealing.
You’re God for the day. What’s the first thing you do?
I would cure cancer. I appreciate everyone needs to go sometime to create space for the young, however, having experienced the pain of seeing my father slowly deteriorate with Cancer made me realise that there are better ways to go.
If you could travel back in time to a period in history, what would it be and why?
The era pre-Industrial revolution – its simpler way of life appeals to me. Today’s “on demand” world where everything is expected instantaneously is not always good. Mobile phones and social media means everyone is immediately contactable and everyone knows everything about everyone.
It would have been hard work back then and there was a high degree of poverty but sometimes the idea of working on a farm and in sympathy with the seasons seems particularly attractive.
Who or what are you enjoying listening to?
I couldn’t name a single tune in the current charts if my life depended on it so it isn’t pop music.
I mainly listen to talking radio like the Today Show on Radio 4. Interestingly, I also rather like Women’s hour on Radio 4. I find it astonishing and, at the same time fascinating, what women are happy to talk about so openly mid-morning!
What unsolved mystery would you like the answers to?
Graham Hancock has written books (Fingerprints of the Gods, Heaven’s Mirror etc.) which present compelling evidence for a lost global civilisation which existed pre-9000 BC. For example, there are 15th Century maps of the land mass beneath Antarctica (which has been under very thick ice for >6,000 years) which were drawn up from much earlier source maps. Recent images from NASA satellites have also mapped the Antarctic land mass under the ice and they match the 15th century maps. Who had the technology to accurately draw the source maps >>6,000 years ago? I would love to know more about the mystery of this lost global civilisation.
What would you take to a desert island and why?
The practical part of me would want to take a bow and arrow, however, I would actually take a wine making kit as it would help me pass the time on the island more enjoyably and at least I would starve to death happy.
What’s your favourite film (or book) and why?
I love the Godfather trilogy, however, Terminator 2 is my favourite film. I’ve always had a bit of a “man-crush” on Arnie and whilst he’s not a great actor his physique was magnificent and I understand the dedication and effort it took to look like that.
If you could perpetuate a myth about yourself, what would it be?
I might perpetuate the myth that I’m a brilliant skier! However, a recent accident on the slopes where I skied off the edge of a mountain and ended up in hospital with a broken and dislocated shoulder, broken ribs, a fractured eye socket and severe concussion has probably put pay to that…
What would your super power be and why?
I am a very honest person (which has got me into plenty of trouble in the past!) and I detest dishonesty. Fortunately, after many years in business I’m pretty good at spotting liars and I would love to be able to expose some of those big lies you see people telling. I don’t mean little white lies like how many biscuits someone’s eaten but the big lies told by some of today’s political leaders: Donald Trump and President Putin certainly spring to mind…
What would you do with a million pounds?
It’s very selfish but I would buy a house on the coast so my wife and I could walk our dogs on the beach together.
What’s your greatest extravagance?
Cars and motorbikes!! I love boy’s toys and have a Bentley Continental GTC which does less than 1000 miles a year and a Harley Davidson Fat Boy which only does 500 miles a year. Both are magnificent pieces of engineering and I simply admire the craftsmanship that went into creating both of these beautiful machines.
If you were blessed with any talent, what would your dream job be and why?
I would love to be able to sing and be a singer but can’t put two notes together. I sang at a karaoke evening at my local rugby club once and the audience threw shoes at me until I stopped singing.
I’m now 56 years old and my whole career has been in the UPS industry. I’ve tried to retire three times, however, each time I’ve returned to work when I’ve been offered a new and exciting challenge. Nowadays, I am most interested in helping young companies and managers that may benefit from my many years of experience. That’s why I’m now involved with CENTIEL. I know the people well and regard them as friends. I believe in who they are and what they are doing and I want to help the company expand globally. Their 4th generation modular technology is unparalleled in the UPS industry and I am delighted to be involved in bringing this to a global marketplace.
What is the best piece of advice ever been given?
One of my ex. Chairman once advised me: “Sometimes the biggest business decision you need to make is to say no. Wherever you look there are opportunities and it is natural to want to grab them. However, by grabbing the wrong one, you have the potential to take a whole company down. Have the courage to say no.”
What irritates you the most in life?
Currently, it is the concussion following my recent skiing accident! All my life I’ve enjoyed looking after my wife and family and now my wife is having to look after me. One of my many personality flaws is that I lack patience and the enforced rest is hugely frustrating!
What should energy users be doing to help themselves in the current climate?
We all need to minimise our negative impact on the environment. Our culture and way of life depends upon it (the planet, by the way, will cope with or without humanity).
At home I have fitted LED bulbs throughout the house. I don’t think we will ever make back the cost of each bulb (around £8 each!) but I’m comforted to know they are using just a tenth of the energy of the old bulbs.
In the UPS industry we should do the same. In datacentres we need to use the most efficient equipment to reduce running costs but also because of our moral responsibility to the environment.
For example, a highly efficient UPS system which is properly configured can make a significant contribution to reducing the carbon footprint of an operation. Take good advice from trusted suppliers to introduce systems that are right sized, correctly configured and well maintained. This goes not just for the UPS but for air conditioning, alarm systems, lighting etc. too.
What’s the best thing – work wise – that you did recently?
I recently joined the main board of Swiss UPS manufacturer, CENTIEL SA. Previously, as CEO of Newave SA, I had global responsibility for the Newave and I am now looking forward to drawing on my Newave and UPS Industry experience to help CENTIEL and drive business their development on a global scale.
Article originally featured in Mission Critical Power June 2018
Chairman, Centiel UK Ltd, Board member of Centiel SA and Board member of Centiel AP.
David began his career in the UPS industry in 1988 when joining Fiskars UK (now part of Eaton) as Technical Services Manager, responsible for all post sales activities including Field Service, Project Management and Service Sales. In 1996 he was a co-founder director of Uninterruptible Power Supplies Ltd. (UPSL/Kholer Power) and in 2005 he led a management buy-out to then become the company’s Managing Director. In late 2008 UPSL was sold to the US company, Kohler, and David spent until mid-2010 helping to integrate UPSL into Kohler.
After leaving UPSL David joined the Swiss Uninterruptible Power Supply manufacturer, Newave, as its CEO. In 2012 Newave was acquired by ABB and David played key roles in both the due diligence and integration stages of the acquisition. After leaving Newave/ABB, David took positions as the UK MD of Emerson Network Power (now Vertiv) and the UK MD of Benning Power Electronics. Since retiring from executive management late 2017, David has become the non-executive Chairman of Centiel SA’s UK subsidiary, Centiel UK Ltd. and has been appointed to the Centiel SA board.