This year’s recipient of the lifetime achievement award Colin Eglington of Simply Thank You has built a flourishing business over the past 29 years in the area of employee gifting, reward and recognition, and Colin himself has overcome much adversity to do so.
After leaving school at 15, Colin embarked on a career in the Merchant Navy, becoming the youngest Captain with a command on a 400,000-ton super tanker. In 1982 he was head of fleet operations for Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and moved with his family to live in Kuwait.
In 1990 when Iraq invaded, he was forced into hiding for two and a half months – before being discovered and taken hostage in Iraq.
He was kept in captivity inside a chemical weapons facility for six months with just a bowl of lukewarm water with 6 or 7 grains of rice and some tomato skins.
Back home, his wife was arranging to meet with Saddam Hussein to beg him for his release. With some financial help, she contacted the Women’s’ League in Jordan and Iraq, allowing her to reach Baghdad – when a decision was made to release all hostages immediately.
Once back in the UK, Colin needed to re-build his life. A casual comment from a friend who had struggled to buy and send a ‘Thank You’ gift who he had stayed with, planted a seed in his mind. Today, the business works with hundreds of brands across the world and has a total of over 1.5 million users.
With numerous innovative employee engagement solutions, as well as incredible technology, and products that have been adopted by some of the biggest global names in banking, media and telecoms, Simply Thank You continues to go from strength to strength.