BDW: Keith Cobham
PUBLISHED: 17:11 27 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:11 27 February 2017
Keith Cobham talks about setting up his own security systems company after a break-in and letting off steam with boxing evenings
What do you do?
I am the founder and managing director of Cobra Security Systems Ltd, which is coming up for its 40th anniversary next year. I originally started the company making and fitting my own designed systems, following a break in to my house and a theft from my car.
Where do you live?
I live in Chingford, just a few minutes away from our showroom.
What is the best part about your job?
The thing I love about the job is trying to help people solve their security problems in the best way we can and at a reasonable cost, whether this be a new system or repairs to existing systems, even if they were not fitted by us.
What is the worst part about your job?
The worst part is hearing people’s harrowing experiences following or during break-ins by criminals who obviously have no morals or sense of respect for property or the mental torment their actions cause their victims.
What is the secret of your success?
I think the fact that I listen to customers’ concerns and try to help them as best I can at an economical cost with as little disruption as possible. It is also due to the support from my wife and her late parents who were a great help in the early years, and having some longstanding friendly and reliable office staff and engineers over the past 39 years - one of whom has been with me over 30 years since leaving school. The proof of this is the amount of referrals we get from existing customers many of whom will request a specific engineer.
What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
When we achieved our NSI GOLD ISO 9001 accreditation and received the medallion and certificate at a ceremony in central London.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Hopefully I will have retired or semi-retired after handing over to my daughter and son-in-law.
What do you do in your spare time?
Sundays are normally spent tending the garden and fish pond or other house repairs.
What is your greatest fear?
I don’t really have any major fears, but I suppose like many other business people Brexit is always at the back of your mind, will it or will it not affect trade, I hope not but only time will tell.
Where do you go for a guy’s night out?
I do enjoy boxing evenings, especially the charity ones organised by the Presidents Sporting Club which helps many disabled children in the Essex area.
What’s your drink of choice after a hard day?
It would have to be coffee although I enjoy an occasional Budweiser.
What is top on your bucket list?
I don’t really have a bucket list as I am happy with my life and things I have done so far and do not really sit and imagine other things I would like to do or achieve.