Member Spotlight: Ed Thorpe
The latest addition to our Member Spotlight series is Ed Thorpe. We were able to grab Ed for a few minutes to discuss life in Malta, running a business and what he does to relax in his spare time.
Grand Central: What do you do for a living?
Ed: I’m currently a director for MC Trustees.
Grand Central: And what does the company do?
Ed: We’re a pension administrator and trustee.
Grand Central: Okay, and on a busy day like this, what would you say is your go-to productivity trick?
Ed: Best thing to do is just crack on with it I suppose! I find it best to keep my head down and to be really organized.
Grand Central: What work-related achievement would you say you’re really proud of?
Ed: Best achievement for me would be turning MC Trustees into a profit-making business in the last couple of years.
Grand Central: Awesome! And how did you find yourself living and working in Malta?
Ed: I came out here with a job offer, but before that I came to Malta for a week basically, and just thought, “Yeah, let’s do it!” and then decided to move here.
Turned out pretty well! It definitely helps that English is an official language and that everyone drives on the left, just like the UK.
Grand Central: And what would you say is your favourite thing to do on the island in your free time?
Ed: My favourite thing is walking on the west coast of the island where there’s plenty of countryside.
Grand Central: And how did you end up at Grand Central?
Ed: I kind of knew about Grand Central when I first met Iain and Sarah at a pub, and we struck up quite a close friendship immediately. I’d actually visited the space a few times for social events, but my previous office was based in Birkirkara. When the opportunity came to change office, I decided on Grand Central. It was better suited for everyone and close to where I live.
Grand Central: And what’s your favourite thing about the space?
Ed: In a way, it’s everything. It’s very peaceful here and there’s a very relaxed atmosphere.
I tend to leave the office door open and I like saying hello to people walking past. Obviously, Ollie (the office dog) comes in and says hello every day! The social events here are just great. They’re bringing everybody together, which is fantastic. Iain and Sarah are very great hosts and are so welcoming as well which really helps.
I mean, if it was very clinical and just bland, people would just be coming in here, putting in their headphones and then going home, but it’s not like that, which is really good.
Grand Central: And what would you say is one of your best memories here at Grand Central?
Ed: Being on the rooftop, but not just for the barbecues! You can see the national fireworks festival over the Harbour for example. It’s nice to experience that in a social atmosphere.
Grand Central: What would you say are the top two reasons you’d recommend Grand Central?
Ed: Hospitality from the hosts, and the location is great. Just in the heart of Valletta.
Grand Central: If you could change one thing or add something to the place, what would it be?
Ed: Quite difficult to think of anything because the space is great as it is. I’ll come back to that later!
Grand Central: Do you have any words of advice for people who want to run their own business or maybe create a start-up?
Ed: It’s just very important to know your location. If you’re first coming to Malta, you need to know how it works and the mentality here. I would recommend coming here for probably two or three months, just getting into the swing of things first, before you kind of set up shop here. Although it’s nice here, you might ultimately decide that Malta isn’t for you.
For a business, I think you just need to be really sure of what you’re doing and basically understand what the government requires of you here. It’s also good to talk to people in places like this, that’s why co-working spaces are great. This is why Grand Central is so great, because there’s such a strong social element and you can talk to people as part of your research beforehand.
Grand Central: Good advice, thank you for your time!