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Pitch perfect: Bradford alumnus and CEO George Mullan to deliver inspirational talk to students


George Mullan portrait

George Mullan is someone who’s used to leading the field in business and now he’s heading back to his alma mater to deliver an inspirational talk.

His company, SIS Pitches, constructed sports surfaces used during the recent Qatar World Cup, and in 2019/20 every major football and rugby tournament was played on an SIS pitch.

He is taking part in the latest International Guest Speaker Series event, a series of talks organised by the University’s Faculty of Management, Law, and Social Sciences, on Wednesday 8 February.

His talk will be entitled ‘Mistakes and open mind are key to business success’ and will look at key business lessons.

George Mullan

George (pictured above) said: “I am delighted to be formally returning to the university, although our MBA year group has kept in contact and has held regular reunions over the years.

“The key message of my guest lecture from an entrepreneurial perspective is that you have to fail to achieve. I want to highlight the mistakes that we in SIS Group have made over the years, that ultimately have allowed us to succeed and to become the main supplier to major tournaments such as the World Cups in football and rugby.”

He added: “My best piece of advice for today’s students is to maintain perseverance and an open mind. Perseverance is required when you start a company and go through a steep learning curve, an open mind is required to listen to your staff, suppliers, and customers, because they know more than you.”

George will focus on three key areas:

  • honesty in situations where there is direct cost to the business
  • understanding and learning from mistakes,
  • creating teams where people are prepared to take risks

The talk will take place from 1.30pm to 3pm and will include a Q&A session. Book your place using this link.

More about SIS Pitches

George graduated from the University of Bradford in 1988 with an MBA from the School of Management, and is the founder and owner of SIS Group, a manufacturing and sports construction company with offices in Europe, Asia and Africa. 

He has a proven track record as a ‘turn-around specialist’ and has completed turn-arounds in South & North America and Europe for a major US multinational. He is a serial investor in startup companies, ranging from healthcare to drinks.

The SIS Group constructed sports surfaces for some of the greatest names in sport across the globe, with a client list including world-renowned soccer teams such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus. In 2018 SIS Pitches completed six stadium pitches in Russia for the World Cup including the Luzhniki stadium for World Cup Final, however they subsequently closed their Russian office in August 2022, following the war in Ukraine.

In Qatar, SIS Pitches constructed over 40 pitches and installed a hybrid patented SISGRASS system at seven of the eight 2022 World Cup stadiums. The European Championship, African Nations Cup, and Asian Cup are just a few of the competitions that SIS have constructed and managed pitches for around the world.

SIS Group employs 430 people and has offices in Turkey, UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands. In 2018, SIS opened a new factory in Maryport in Cumbria, which is the most modern factory in Europe to produce artificial grass. 

Previous talks 

The inaugural talk in the series was delivered by former managing director of BMW (GB) Kevin Gaskell in November 2022. He graduated from the University of Bradford with a BEng in Civil Engineering in 1981 and thanks to a scholarship, he then went on to complete an MBA at the School of Management in 1982. He became an Honorary Doctor of the University in 2016.