Yet, money is not the key driver for this natural entrepreneur, who today aged 39, heads up one of the UK’s leading integrated data centre and connectivity solution providers – a rapidly growing company having gained, among other recognitions, inclusion in the 2011 Times Tech Track 100.
Money is the pleasant business by-product of his desire to achieve personal success – in whatever he does – whether that is leisuretime kite-surfing, snowboarding, and rock-climbing, or running a major Internet integration business turning over £15 million in 2014 and employing more than 65 people.
Note those risk-taking sports. Challenging his limits is the competitive spark and adrenaline rush that arguably drives his entrepreneurship. “I guess, being an only child, I wanted to prove things to myself.“
And, perhaps that also led him to be personally imaginative, hands-on creative and a confident self-starter. Certainly, he is all of those.
Either way, Hawkins gained business craft early, learning from good and bad operators – “You go into business trusting everyone; I’ve learned to be more cautious“ – and creating successful websites, then online businesses for affiliate marketing and the clubbing music scene.
By the mid-1990s he was astutely viewing the big picture – 21st century opportunities, and specifically the Internet’s future role as a core business communication and data medium.
“I tend to take business risks that others wouldn’t, but my risks are as calculated as I can make them.“
In 2000, aged 25, Hawkins founded C4L, then survived the recession, gained blue-chip, international and government clients, achieved five-