Although Les Torrance works for an American multinational, he insists the company has retained its family feel. Picture: Greg Macvean

The Big Interview: Les Torrance of Sykes

Sykes is possibly the biggest company you’ve never heard of. The Nasdaq-listed organisation, which has its European headquarters in Edinburgh, turned over $1.6 billion in 2018. The business process outsourcer employs around 50,000 people worldwide – more than 1,000 of these in Scotland – and its 70 contact centres serve multinationals such as Sonos, Sony PlayStation, HSBC and Motorola.

Although he spent 11 years with the NFU, Withers is a self-confessed townie with a degree in political studies. Picture: Stewart Attwood

The Big Interview: James Withers of Scotland Food & Drink

We’ve come a long way from the deep fried Mars Bar. Once the “punch line of the joke”, Scotland’s culinary reputation has blossomed to the point where chefs the world over now champion Scottish salmon, red meat, gin and craft beers, as well as the traditional whisky and haggis, says Scotland Food & Drink chief James Withers.

Brie Read's decision not to bombard purchasers with a blizzard of emails has received very positive feedback. Picture: Greg Macvean

The Big Interview: Brie Read of Snag tights

Entrepreneurs the world over will testify that leading a start-up to break even in its first year of trading is no mean feat. A company turning a profit before its first anniversary is even rarer. But that’s precisely what online hosiery brand Snag has achieved.

As a Borders lad Jonny Combe is proud that PayByPhone is about to break into the Scottish market

The Big Interview: Jonny Combe of PayByPhone

You know that scene in The Matrix where he’s offered the red pill or the blue pill?” Jonny Combe has found the ideal analogy for the moment his career reached a fork in the road; the known versus the unknown. His reference to sci-fi hero Neo’s choice between continuing the life he knows or daring to enter a new reality is a tongue-in-cheek parallel to his own decision to move roles.

Morenikeji with some of his charismatic inventory at Scaramanga's base in Cupar

The Big Interview: Carl Morenikeji of Scaramanga

A royal biographical drama starring Dame Judi Dench, a star-studded Abba musical sequel and a children’s blockbuster about a marmalade-obsessed bear from Peru: what’s the missing link? All three A-lister films have featured props supplied by Fife-based Scaramanga.

Audrey Baxter has led a change in the dynamic of the Scottish global food group Baxters, and the benefits are beginning to show.

The Big Interview: Audrey Baxter

Baxters Food Group, a global business with manufacturing operations on three continents, marked its 150th anniversary this year, still thriving in the hands of the Baxter family.

Hartop's first love was rugby, and he played for Hawick and Edinburgh Accies. Picture: Stewart Attwood

The Big Interview: Graeme Hartop, chief of Hampden & Co

Private banking is a sector associated with pedigree and heritage. Most of the names that first spring to mind – the likes of Coutts and Raphaels – have been stalwarts of the industry for centuries, securing generation after generation of high net worth clientele.

Rachel Jones believes women of all ages should be given more encouragement to make a career in the tech sector. Picture: Jon Savage

The Big Interview: SnapDragon chief Rachel Jones

Counterfeiting accounts for around $461 billion (£360bn), or 2.5 per cent of all global imports, according to 2016 figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the figure is increasing annually.

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