Staff Reporters
Feb 2, 2023

40 Under 40 2022: Oliver Budgen, Bud

Budgen has managed to build an indie PR outfit through carving a niche offering, making strategic hires, and cultivating a healthy workplace culture.

40 Under 40 2022: Oliver Budgen, Bud
Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise 

Oliver Budgen

Founder and CEO

Opening a PR agency just before the Covid pandemic hit might not have been the most brilliant idea. But since then, Oliver Budgen has been able to grow Bud’s net revenue by 140% in 2021, and by 70% in 2022, achieving 45 new client wins without a single pay cut or redundancy.

He has built Bud’s regional capabilities through strategic hires and upskilling the existing team. As a result, in 2022, the agency expanded its offerings to several new markets, including the Philippines, Australia and Malaysia, with over 90% of clients having a regional remit. Agency clients expanded into fintech, gaming, cybersecurity and ecommerce categories.

Budgen has hired a diverse team of storytellers, content creators, strategists and PR professionals from various industries, ethnicities and nationalities. The agency currently has more than seven nationalities among the team of 16. He has implemented a staff engagement tool to measure team engagement and job satisfaction, while establishing a culture and wellness team and encouraging co-creation initiatives.  

He has also partnered with the mental health therapy platform SafeSpace, ensuring all his staff have anonymous access to therapy sessions. Budgen arranged for every employee to pack their WFH desk with whatever they needed to create a conducive work environment.

Generous with his time for a good cause, Budgen has offered Bud’s PR services pro bono for Distillery’s Diversity Type Project to raise awareness of diversity issues within the creative industry. Bud ran a two-month awareness campaign, resulting in broad press coverage in the trade media. Then, for International Women's Day, Budgen offered pro bono PR consulting for women entrepreneurs on their business’ comms strategy and branding.

When not working or raising awareness of diversity issues, Budgen is an obsessive home cook  and once hosted a six-course dinner for 120 people at a Singapore restaurant for a TV competition.

Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise 


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