Peter Davenport, group managing director of Motiva, has been selected as a regional finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
The annual programme recognises business leaders who have shown drive and innovation in a challenging economic climate.
A panel of independent judges, led by Andy Street, the managing director of John Lewis, will look at a number of criteria for the 'Entrepreneur of the Year', including innovation, strategic direction, the ability to lead and building teams, financial performance, national impact and approach to social responsibility.
Davenport will go head to head with 23 others from across the Midlands at the Midlands Masterclass and Judges’ Reception in Birmingham on May 6, followed by the Midlands Awards Event on June 17 where the winner will be announced.
The winner will go on to compete for the national title, with the chance to represent the country at a global awards ceremony in Monte Carlo.
Davenport sees his nomination as recognition of the hard work and dedication of all 63 staff at Motiva, based in Stoke-on-Trent.
He said: “It’s great to be in the running for such a prestigious award and it’s nice to be recognised in this way.
“We’ve all put in a lot of hard work and that has paid big dividends with the success of the business, particularly last year.
“But while I’m the leader, there’s a great team behind me who are all pulling in the same direction – it’s not just down to me.”
Motiva Group, which incorporates Motiva Vehicle Contracts and M-Way Vehicle Rentals, has achieved sustained success since Davenport led a management buy-out in 2006.
But progress was particularly impressive last year with total fleet increasing by almost 20% and turnover jumping by 10% to more than £35 million in 12 months.
Operating profit followed a similarly positive trend, rising to more than £570,000 last year.
The company, which amalgamated all of its services at a former brownfield site in Longton in September, now has a contract and leasing fleet of almost 5,000 vehicles and access to more than 25,000 through its rental division.
It can now fund fleet purchases and offers fleet monitoring through Motrak along with fuel management, risk management and accident management via MotivAssist.
Davenport added: “We have turned Motiva Group into a one-stop shop for vehicle solutions and it’s paying off for us.
“We changed our funding policy for rental vehicles and, while that has increased financial risk, it has been a major factor in the rapid growth of the business.
“We also have a ‘people come first’ approach and it’s that customer service element which helps us to stand out from the crowd.”