Gio Benedetti firm wins council and Coca Cola contracts

Green Cross Training was launched by Scots entrepreneur Gio Benedetti. Picture: contributed.
Green Cross Training was launched by Scots entrepreneur Gio Benedetti. Picture: contributed.
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A training company launched by Scots entrepreneur Gio Benedetti has secured potentially lucrative contracts with Coca Cola and Edinburgh council.

Benedetti, father of celebrity violinist Nicola Benedetti, yesterday announced the deals won by his company Green Cross Training.

The Hamilton-based firm secured contracts to provide first aid and health and safety training courses for Coca Cola, which employs some 4,000 people in the UK, and the City of Edinburgh Council, which has about 18,000 staff, as well as agreeing a deal with the Highland Council.

They are the latest in a series of high-profile clients for the company, as customers already include blue chip giants Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and BT.

The new deals follow a £1 million investment in the firm’s management systems and the company is already eyeing further ambitious growth plans, having recently appointed business development director Caroline Meikle.

She said: “We are delighted to have secured the Edinburgh contract and look forward to providing our services to the local authority.

“Every business in every sector in the UK is a potential customer for us. It is exciting to join the company at a time when growth and expansion are at the forefront of the company’s agenda.

“As we look to further develop, I am already in advanced negotiations with some huge brands who employ thousands in a variety of sectors including soft drinks, retail and hospitality.”

Results published in April showed the company posted an operating profit of around £26,000 for 2017, compared with a loss of more than £115,000 in 2016.

Benedetti wants to double the firm’s sales force by the end of the year and is looking into acquiring other training firms.

He has built a reputation as a serial innovator and counts this venture as the latest in a string of business successes.

After announcing plans to retire in 2013, he later reversed his decision because he still has “a head full of ideas and innovations”.

Speaking about Green Cross Training, Benedetti said: “We started from scratch and have recently spent a lot of time on strategy and invested significant funds in innovative training management systems. That is now paying off as we plan for an ambitious future.

“I have known Caroline for some time, admired her business acumen and know she is the person who can bring the level of customer service excellence that our customers demand.”

Benedetti started his first business, a dry cleaners, when he was 18 years old. The business went on to became one of the UK’s biggest dry cleaning plants and was later sold to Initial for around £30m.

Since then he has run a Shropshire-based cling film maker, which he later sold for £9.5m, and a papermaker in Birmingham which sold for £21m.