Welcome to ‘Interview with an entrepreneur’, a series where we talk to entrepreneurs, industrialists & businessman and delve into their business mind. Today we interview Mick Davis who is the Chief Executive Officer of Xstrata Plc, an Anglo-Swiss multinational mining company headquartered in Switzerland and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom.

Mick Davis, CEO of Xstrata

Mick Davis, CEO of Xstrata

What does your average workday consist of?
Generally discussions with my various CEO’s on the current risks and opportunities in the business, daily meeting with my CFO to discuss the state of play in the markets, our cash flow etc, thinking time on current company transformational opportunities. Various meetings with shareholders, governments etc.

How will you deal with increasing competition in your industry?
We focus in on the metrics that will allow us to take opportunities which will add value and then be opportunistic. Huge emphasis on reducing the cost base, superior capability on integrating acquisitions and building projects. Finally trying to generate early insight into trends and then to position oneself ahead of the game.

Do you believe your target market has changed?
No – the developing world with its ever urbanising population will rule the secular demand for commodities.

Do you believe that young people who wish to start a business should go through the traditional route of attending university?
Not necessarily but it is a good training ground on honing thinking and analytical skills.

Did you grow up in an entrepreneurial environment?
No

How do you see your industry developing in the next 3-5 years?
It will consolidate further.

What three pieces of advice would you give to a young entrepreneur starting out today?
1. Believe in yourself and trust your own judgements
2. Pay attention to detail
3. Manage the downside