Ron Bose, the founder of APT, a software company that helped fashion retailers thrive in the 80s and 90s, has passed away. Ron was a character who had a unique talent to identify people who would succeed in the unstructured world of IT, and the majority of the 20 staff who were at his funeral yesterday owe their careers to him.
He had a maverick, headstrong, and impulsive personality that suited the wild west of computer software houses. Ron was raised in the Himalayas, and it was a strange route for him to write a COBOL compiler as his entry into the software world, that ended up with a company that produced software for fashion retail.
He was in many ways a lost soul who attracted kindred spirits into APT, and his leadership ideas still drive the success of Monsoon today. Ron founded APT in the early 70s, and it soon became a software house with clients such as Liberty, Monsoon, Beales, Oasis, and Wigfalls. In the 80s, Ron directed the development of the order processing package towards retailers, which led to APT having a significant number of clients in the fashion retail industry.
In the 90s, Ron directed the expansion of the company with a new office in Derby and directed this office to create a new software package for retailers using The Oracle database and Oracle forms. This software package became the iconic Mercatus that many retailers invested in, including House of Fraser, Bay Trading, Austin Reed, Coast, Karen Millen, Warehouse, Per Una, Superdry, Charles Clinkard, Dw Sports, Dolcis and Kookai. Ron retired in the late 90s and sold the company, which became NSB. His legacy will be remembered by his peers, colleagues, and the numerous people whose careers he influenced.
We are grateful to Robin Coles, one of Ron’s earliest employees for these recollections. Robin had only been the driver to get his friend to and interview with Ron and ended up being offered a job. The many of us who know Robin now know that he got into this industry by mistake, all to our benefit.