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Keith Darby of Derwent Management Services answers Barker's Dozen

Date: 06 January 2014

The managing director of automotive data provider DMS discusses living with Moonies and laughing at Hancock
Keith Darby, managing director of Derwent Management Services

1. What was your first job?

A shelf stacker in the village shop in Clavering, Essex. My first professional job was as an IT teacher in a comprehensive school in Ludlow, Shropshire, in the early 1990s.


2. What was your first company car?

A Rover 100, which was a vast improvement on my previous car - a Ford Escort that was 90% rust!


3. What did you listen to on your last car journey? 

I'm a fan of Radio 4 Extra, which airs recordings of superb radio comedies such as Hancock's Half Hour.


4. What one thing do you wish you could do better? 

Speak a foreign language. Derwent Management Services undertakes business in the Netherlands, Belgium and France and I regularly hold meetings with people who are fluent in six languages.


5. What's your biggest achievement? 

From a personal point of view, my three sons; professionally, designing IT systems for DMS that are simple for our customers to use and deliver a wealth of vital automotive-related information.


6. Who are your role models? 

My role model is Bill Gates, for having the vision to simplify IT systems and make computers accessible to all. Additionally, for his benevolence to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


7. What's the stupidest thing you've done? 

Arrive in San Francisco with $2 in my pocket and nowhere to stay. I lived on a Moonie camp in the Napa Valley for two weeks and took a job with them selling roses at traffic lights in the city. I earned enough money to get to Toronto for my flight home to the UK.


8. What was the most hotly debated topic at your last meeting?

Our online tools, including TotalCost and SMR BurnRate, are typically used by motor manufacturers and leasing companies. We are now making them available to fleet decision-makers and the discussion centred around routes to market.


9.  What's in your garage?

If I had a garage it would be my sons' bikes.


10. What's the worst thing about your job?

Waiting at airports to catch a flight.


11. What one law would you make or change? 

There should be a law that states each time a new law is introduced five old ones should be scrapped.


12. What keeps you awake at night? 

A good book, particularly crime thrillers.  I start a book and can still be reading it at 5am


13. Who is your ideal celebrity date? 

Nicole Kidman.

Name: Keith Darby
Company: Derwent Management Services
Job title: Managing director
Home town: Worcester
Family: Married with three sons
Age: 44
Sum up your company in 13 words or fewer: A provider of essential automotive data to companies to enhance their performance.