HEADLINER: Assured salesman gears up to help IPC cash in on the net - Julian Hardy is confident he will make IPC Electric a success

Julian Hardy is one of the most confident men I’ve met - and since most of my contacts are in the media world, this is some feat. But at 30 years old, with a house in Cordoba, Spain, which he flies out to every weekend, and a successful, lucrative career in new media, you can begin to understand why he’s so damn sure of himself.

Julian Hardy is one of the most confident men I’ve met - and since

most of my contacts are in the media world, this is some feat. But at 30

years old, with a house in Cordoba, Spain, which he flies out to every

weekend, and a successful, lucrative career in new media, you can begin

to understand why he’s so damn sure of himself.



In his latest guise, Hardy is the head of IPC Electric, the new internet

venture from IPC Magazines, which last week confirmed it would have

pounds 25 million in backing from IPC’s shareholders, led by Cinven.

Much of the substance of the new company is shrouded in secrecy but IPC

is keen to take advantage of its expertise in key consumer markets to

exploit new revenue opportunities.



Despite the responsibility of setting up such an entity, Hardy is

excited, rather than apprehensive about IPC’s major foray into the world

of the internet. ’I’m driven by the challenge,’ he says. ’There’s nobody

at IPC Electric and at management level who isn’t excited about what we

are doing.’



His swarthy, well-dressed figure stands out against the clinical white

surroundings of our Chelsea eatery. The mobile phone clipped inside his

suit keeps ringing as I try to dig as much out of him as possible about

IPC Electric. According to Hardy, co-ordinating the various suppliers

for the venture is a time-consuming and demanding task but he evidently

thrives on being the centre of attention.



Explaining the gist of IPC Electric and its impact on the market, Hardy

says: ’We are launching a number of different networks based around our

key franchises. Every one of these networks will have a superior

presence that will be head and shoulders above any single site that

currently exists in the UK - we are talking depth, breadth and

branding.’



Hardy’s a slick salesman and although he gives me a very sketchy idea

about the company, his enthusiasm and confidence in the venture are

dangerously infectious. He admits: ’I’m a deal maker - there’s no deal

that I can’t do at some level.’ And his bosses agree. Rene Carayol, the

director of IPC Electric to whom Hardy reports, says: ’Within 15 minutes

of meeting him, I knew he was the only person who could do the job. His

pace and energy is frightening - they don’t come much scarier than

Julian Hardy. His knowledge of the internet is amazing and he’s so

commercial.’



David Arculus, IPC Group’s chief executive, who was the group managing

director of Emap during Hardy’s time there, says: ’His great strength

lies in getting revenue. Much of the internet is about partnerships and

alliances and Hardy’s got a real feel for that.’



He may sport designer garb but Hardy’s first career steps were far from

glamorous. He was sponsored by Massey-Ferguson, the tractor

manufacturer, while at Bristol Business School and worked for the

company for 18 months before moving on to the Dutch publisher, VNU,

where he put in a short stint as a sales executive on PC World.



Hardy then went to Emap and, while working across the IT titles, became

seduced by the web. It was there that he caught Arculus’s eye. ’Julian

was the commercial guy who knew how to get revenue on to websites. He

was very much involved in starting up online services such as

bargainholidays.com and tickets.com, and was a rare talent,’ Arculus

says.



Hardy is not shy of his achievements, declaring he was ’the first ever

client services manager’ at Emap. He put together a plan for the online

information service which was to become Emap Online, and then joined

Capital where he was a founder of Capital Interactive, a network of

websites based on the company’s regional radio brands. ’I did the

world’s first tri-media broadcast,’ he boasts. ’We broadcast live from

the Capital Cafe on TV with LWT, on radio with Capital, and through

Capital FM’s website.’ He claims unabashedly: ’There are a lot of Julian

Hardy disciples in the industry - people who have worked with me in the

past who have key positions in the industry.’



Hardy’s ego requires little rest. ’I typically sleep only three hours. I

kick in at 9.30am, finish work at 7pm, go home and relax, go out with

friends, return at 12am, work again, talk to US suppliers - the pace is

frenetic. I’ll hit the sack at 2.30am and get up at 7am.’ In his spare

time Hardy enjoys extreme sports but will relinquish bachelordom next

month to marry his Spanish fiancee.



’He’s a work hard, play hard character,’ Shan Henderson, online

commercial manager at New PHD and a former colleague of Hardy’s,

comments. At IPC Electric, Hardy has all to play for. If the company

floats successfully in a few years’ time, he’ll be laughing all the way

to the bank (and a bigger Spanish mansion).



The Hardy file

1991

VNU Business Publishing, senior sales executive

1992

Emap Business Communications, client services manager rising to business

development manager in 1994

1996

Capital Interactive, head of sales, rising to commercial director in

1998

1999

IPC Electric, head



Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content