After graduating from Middlesex University I had an urge to do something entrepreneurial. So naturally I chose to become a chartered accountant! This was mainly to please my mum and show her I was at least being useful. She thought it was all very professional because I wore a smart suit and worked in London.
By the time I’d failed my second consecutive professional exam, the brief love affair between me and accountancy was well and truly over. So instead of becoming an auditor, I put my skills towards hiring them, joining recruitment company Harrison Willis (TMP – Hudson) in London, then opened their Bristol offices in the south west of England.
But I was never really cut out to be someone’s employee. So after four years in which I tested the patience of CEO Graham Palfrey Smith and Chairman Laurence Smith to the absolute limit, I bade them a fond farewell to start up on my own. And although there were a few tears shed at my leaving party, they were actually out of joy that I wouldn’t be around to annoy people anymore!
In 1993 my new baby Antal International was delivered screaming and kicking into this world. With it came a list of business mistakes longer than the entire works of William Shakespeare. In spite of (perhaps because of) my naivety, Antal somehow managed to become the leading recruitment firm in the developing markets of central and eastern Europe.
Not surprisingly, it was quite a bumpy ride, but we kept going because we really didn’t know any better. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our great people, we’ve continued to thrive, and today the Antal International Group has 110 offices spread across 35 countries, through its wholly owned and franchised operations.
Tony set up the Antal Charitable Foundation which focuses on assisting children’s charities like NSPCC, Children in Need and others across the world.
An enthusiastic if exhausted father of 8, Tony also occasionally manages to find time to make use of his long-standing season ticket at Chelsea FC.
If you'd like to know more about Tony Goodwin, please visit www.tonygoodwin.co.uk