James Cartwright
Manager
James is a manager in the Principal Investments team and joined Eight Roads in London from Bain & Company in South Africa.

What motivates you?

Spotting potential which nobody else has seen and working as part of a dynamic group of people to realise it. 

What’s been the steepest learning curve on your career journey so far?

Helping a floundering Nigerian bank, beset with both human and technological resource constraints, to become great again. I was working alongside the highly committed management team who were emotionally invested in the business and heavily reliant on our support to transform it. In the challenging Lagos environment, I truly learnt what partnership means and also the weight of expectation!

Which sector or industry trend do you feel most excited about at the moment and why?

The consumer growth story in Africa and other emerging markets. Specifically how financial services and telecommunications technology can change lives by providing access to essential services which may otherwise have taken decades to deliver.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Credibility is a fine balance between knowledge, integrity, confidence and communication. 

What is the company you wish you’d backed and why?

For over five years, I have followed a large listed South African business called Naspers. It’s a media conglomerate which diversified from print media at the right time and has shaped the e-commerce and marketplace industries in emerging markets through a series of smart acquisitions. It’s an amazing growth story.