It’s a real honour to get a Queen’s Award, and it’s twice as exciting to receive our second. There’s a great buzz in the office now everyone knows (especially with drinks booked to celebrate!). As a London business we now need to arrange the formal presentation too. That was a fantastic day when we received Bullion Vault’s 2009 award for Enterprise Innovation. The real value though is long term. Because the Queen’s Award shows both staff and customers that our model – and its success – has been closely studied and recognized by the UK’s most prestigious enterprise awards.
Ensuring our Award makes the news is of course an urgent aim. So I’ve been busy over the last week drafting and sharing our press release, and chasing Paul Tustain – Bullion Vault’s founder and CEO – for his comment. The Queen’s Award office were really helpful, explaining which newspapers they were talking to in advance of the announcement. That helped us target our press release last week. Now we’re talking to business and profile writers with our 2013 Award as the focus.
Paul founded BullionVault a decade ago to meet his own needs as a private investor, wanting to buy and own gold safely at low cost. So IT development was crucial right from the start. Yes, our tech team continue to lead innovation in precious metals, building new ways for our users to buy and sell, including the mobile apps launched in 2012. But this 2013 award for International Trade caps 140% growth in our overseas sales over 3 years. So it’s great to see the hard work of our bilingual marketing and user-support team recognized like this, alongside the homegrown IT talent which first built the software underpinning our peer-to-peer precious metals exchange online.
Thanks in no small part to our 2009 award – proudly shown on our homepage ever since – BullionVault is today the world's largest provider of private gold and silver ownership online. Global revenue totalled £380 million last year, and the service has now been used by 46,000 people, half of them outside the UK in more than 150 countries. But we’re still a small business at heart, staffed by just 35 people and still based in Hammersmith, West London.
One-third of the team is dedicated to IT and another third are native speakers of our target foreign languages – French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish and Spanish. All speak and write fluent English, and for each foreign language one is a translation specialist, managing their BullionVault pages and educational content in the same clear style we strive to achieve in English. It's their skills and dedication, under the unflappable management of Nittin Seehakoo, our head of client services, which has really enabled us to achieve such success. We haven’t yet tackled the world’s 2 biggest gold-buying nations, India and China. But once we do, we’ll surely be applying to the Queen’s Award a third time!