Smart kid saves firm from bankruptcy

17-year-old rakes in $1m of orders

A 17-year-old student on a two-week placement has saved a printing company from bankruptcy after his Internet prowess secured contracts worth up to $1 million.

British A-Level student Adam Hughes was sent to Martin Mulligan UK to learn a bit about the world of business.

During his two-week stint at the barcode printing outfit he suggested they get an e-commerce system, and almost overnight saved the company. Orders, including a $100,000 order from the US to provide bar code tags in several major airports, started flooding in from overseas.

The teen has single-handedly transformed the Merseyside business - which was on the verge of bankruptcy and pinned its marketing strategy on mailshots and the phone. Company boss Martin Mulligan was so chuffed with the lad, who is studying business and history at St Edward's College in Liverpool, he even offered him the role of head of marketing for the US arm of his business.

"We were lagging behind the competition and were really struggling to stay afloat when Adam arrived," Mulligan told The Times. "The company was on the verge of bankruptcy as we were unable to secure deals in the overseas market."

"And now we expect to net more than $1 million from the Internet-based ordering system that Adam was solely responsible for."

Adam confessed he was amazed when he landed at the company and found no online operation. Although he said he was flattered by the job offer, which would have placed him in Philadelphia, he turned it down. He wants to go to Liverpool University to study architecture. ®

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