Posted Friday 21 July 2023
Kingston alumnus and businessman Vince Tallent has been awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his contribution to business, entrepreneurship and philanthropy by the University.
The entrepreneur received the accolade during a graduation ceremony celebrating the achievements of students from the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences and marked the third time he has crossed the stage to be honored – having previously earned undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from Kingston.
Vince Tallent is an Anglo Indian who grew up in India and arrived in the UK aged 16 in 1982 before studying at Kingston University and graduating in 1988 with a BA(Hons) degree in Accounting & Finance.
Mr Tallent's involvement at Kingston continued since his graduation, receiving a Master's of Business Administration from the University in 1994 and also sponsoring the student innovation competition Bright Ideas in recent years. Mr Tallent is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Describing how he felt when he received the news of his honorary doctorate Mr Tallent said he was in shock and absolutely delighted. "It is a very proud moment for me, and I am so happy to be continuing my over thirty-year relationship with Kingston," he said. "The people have kept me coming back to Kingston over the years. I have loved sharing my experiences in business with the students and particularly being involved with Bright Ideas it has been fantastic to see so many entrepreneurs emerge from the University."
Mr Tallent has been in the FinTech (Financial Technology) and TMT (Telecoms, Media, Technology) industries for the past 30 years, building technology businesses with outstanding management teams and leading investors in developed and emerging markets. He has worked in a number of countries and regions across the world, which include the UK, US, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, South East Asia and China. Mr Tallent is currently CEO of a FinTech company, Tiqmo (owned by the Ajlan Group), in Saudi Arabia focused on growing the business across the MENA region.
Mr Tallent's achievements have included a number of firsts with disruption and international business being at the heart of everything he has done. These firsts have been executed by working with outstanding management teams to build the first mobile network in India, the first mobile internet service provider (ISP) in the US, UK and Europe, the first global messaging (SMS) business, the first global cross border cross network mobile top (airtime, voice & data) business, the first global social payments platform and the first financial super app in the MENA region. He has been married to his wife Amanda for 32 years and has a daughter called Jessica and twin sons, Kieran and Joshua.
Playing sport was also a big part of Mr Tallent's life at Kingston University and described playing cricket and hockey for Kingston's 1st XI as hugely beneficial for his university experience. He has also captained winning cricket and hockey teams at The National Physical Laboratory (NPL in Teddington), Esher Cricket Club and Teddington Hockey Club, in the Surrey and Middlesex Championships. Vince has also been Chairman of the NPL Cricket Club.
Giving advice to Kingston's graduating students, Mr Tallent urged them to set goals and milestones throughout their career. "It certainly is a tough global environment right now, having said that, the business world is always a tough environment to be in. What defines success is focus, drive, the will to win, commitment, great team work and seamless execution. Together with being well prepared from their studies there is no reason why the students from Kingston cannot be hugely successful with their own careers," he said. "My main piece of advice would be to be very focused on your goals for the next five years, set yourself clear milestones for where you want to be in your career along the way and constantly measure where you are at. Without measurement there can be no corrective action. But, above all else, enjoy what you are doing, work hard and play hard, the playing is equally as important as the working. In my experience, great teams are built as much off the field as they are on the field."
Head of Enterprise Education Martha Mador, who nominated Mr Tallent for the honorary doctorate, praised his contribution to students at Kingston. "His sponsorship of the Bright Ideas competition really helped the University keep that initiative going from strength to strength," she said. "He has been so generous with his time, and I know the wisdom he has imparted on our students has really driven them forward when they've gone on to set up their own business."