A Day in the Life Of… James Bradshaw, Business Development Manager


At Petards Rail, we appreciate the skills, experience and attributes of our team of experts – which spans Software Engineers and Service Engineers to QHSE and System Architects. To showcase the talents of our team and provide an insight into their expertise, we will be sharing ‘A Day in The Life Of…’ articles with you.


Here James Bradshaw, Business Development Manager, shares an insight into his role.

What does your job involve?

Ultimately growing the business by developing existing accounts and creating new routes to market. This includes train builders, train operators and rolling stock leasers in addition to creating partnerships with other suppliers.


What is a typical day in your role?

Engaging with potential new clients and progressing our on-going bids from receipt of the request to order placement. I’d also be working on identifying new routes to market along with developing a strategy to increase our commercial offering by partnering with suppliers who have relevant synergies.


How did you get into this profession?

I started my career in business development as a customer support engineer in the rail industry back in 2012. This was a hybrid role including both technical and commercial. Over the years this moved to purely commercial however my technical background helps me to understand the customers’ issues and propose a relevant solution to meet their needs.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Developing long term relationships with my customer base by always putting the customer first and of course, being successful in winning tenders.


What is the most challenging part of your job?

Navigating the complex rail industry. Projects for new train builds or upgrade projects have multiple stakeholders within several companies which means you have to keep close to all companies involved irrelevant of if they will become your direct customer when the project is awarded.


What advice would you give to others looking to move into this field?

Having resilience – sometimes bids will not go the way you want which will be totally out of your hands. Pushbacks will happen but it is how you deal with these in a positive way, to continue moving forward, which will separate you from others.

Secondly, I would say listening to your customers. Understand their problems and pain points first and then propose a solution that will remove these.


Is there anything else you would like to add about your job that makes it interesting / special to others?

No two days are the same. There is a large variety in the role from customer visits, trade shows and conferences, developing new routes to market and progressing tenders. The more you put into the role, the more you get out.