Mike Prince

Just because I am identifying "ones to watch" doesn't mean I expect them to succeed. But local television in Birmingham has been a fairly entertaining watch in recent years – even if it hasn't been on a television screen.

Following the rather embarrassing collapse of BLTV, headed up by former council spin doctor Debra Davis, this year it now falls on former ATV presenter Mr Prince to breathe life into local television in the city.

Under new station Kaleidoscope TV, he is making promises about studios and programming – which are very similar to the promises of the previous bosses.

He has little to live up to where that is concerned, but it would be an impressive turnaround to make a success out of this basket case.

Lisa Williams

Retail is the key word in Birmingham next year and there are few more central to the city's progress than Ms Williams, who has been appointed to manage the giant John Lewis store at Grand Central.

The first, and most important, step is to ensure it operates smoothly and contributes towards a new and more profitable foot flow through the city centre.

But there is also a tourism consideration. The biggest John Lewis outside London will be one of several retail offers which promise to bring more people into Birmingham.

Ms Williams, who is originally from the city, has already said it is "more than a shop" to her and she is expected to be a recognisable figure on the city's business scene.

Phil Carlin

Phil Carlin was among the more regular faces in the Post last year, and that looks likely to continue into 2015.

The managing director of Seven Capital seemed to be announcing a new Birmingham building purchase a month in the second half of last year as the company heads towards a target of creating 5,000 new city centre homes.

And he says this is only the beginning as Seven is set to invest at least £100 million in regional property this year after securing a £60 million deal on a London hotel. The firm is close to announcing more developments in a matter of weeks.

Shaleen Meelu

Food is big business in Birmingham. It must be true, as people keep on saying it.

Ms Meelu, who is heading up The Harborne Food School, at the School Yard development in the town, is about to put that to the test.

As a successful businesswoman who already advises the Government on nutrition, she is well-placed to do it but if she makes a success of the scheme it will be a real triumph.

She has some significant backing in the shape of former PwC director Robert Smith. By the end of 2015, we will start to see if the venture is going to make it.

Ian Martin

The former area director at Lloyds Bank in the city is now part of Marlborough Property Co, which has some serious cash on the hip and has already shown an interest in Birmingham.

The Mills & Reeve building on Colmore Row seems a sound investment but it is the purchase of the Connaught Square site (gallery below) that really makes him an interesting man to follow.

There were high hopes when £150 million plans under a previous owner to regenerate Birmingham’s Irish Quarter were brought about before the recession – but now look frankly daft.

Marlborough is expected to come forward with its vision for Connaught this year. If it gets it right – and off the ground – it will be a major boost to Eastside.

 

Paul Thandi

I suppose I should start with the caveat that as the NEC Group is about to be sold I know little of what Mr Thandi, currently its chief executive, will be doing.

But that role will perhaps be more crucial than ever once the group is sold by Birmingham City Council.

It is probably the principal draw for tourism in the region – and will be even more so with the new Resorts World set to open in 2015.

As effectively a council employee, the chief of the NEC has always been somewhat shackled in terms of what they can say about tourism policy. Soon, the shackles are off.

Lucan Gray

It's always been a case of all our tomorrows when it comes to Digbeth, but 2014 was a huge year for the city's Eastside and now we are waiting for the next move from the Custard Factory owner.

The Birmingham Curzon Masterplan was all about unlocking the potential of Eastside – breaking down the concrete collar and allowing a vibrant area in the city core to reach its potential.

That masterplan will take time, but Mr Gray currently has an almost full Custard Factory and more land than you can shake a stick at.

Some long-awaited expansion should be forthcoming, and its success in bringing in smart digital firms will be key to how the city performs in that crucial sector.

Alan Greenough

Alan Greenough is the man who headed up law firm Hogan Lovells' new operation in Birmingham. It was a fairly modest start, recruiting around 20 lawyers, but Deutsche Bank didn't employ 3,000 overnight.

It will be interesting to see whether there’s an opportunity to expand under the guidances of the firm's former global private equity head, who is returning to the city after a three-year spell at Pinsent Masons in Birmingham in the 1990s.

But, moreover, the move was trailblazing for the legal sector and its success could tempt more out of the capital.

Dr Ralf Speth

It's a dull choice, I accept, but when it comes to the West Midlands economy Jaguar Land Rover can be hard to ignore.

Dr Speth, who was appointed in 2010, has overseen a remarkable turnaround of the business which I don’t really need to tell you about. £2.5 billion annual profits will do that for me.

The rise and rise of JLR has meant investment all over the world – China, the Middle East and likely Brazil – but has benefited its West Midlands roots the most.

But there's been a lot of growth since it announced the Wolverhampton plant and there are some pretty ambitious targets in the UK, so further job growth is not a far-fetched notion.

Jerry Blackett

Another obscure one this – Mr Blackett leaves his role as chief executive of the Greater Birmingham Chamber Group in June and it will be interesting to see who is brought in to replace him.

The chamber, like many others, has struggled for its place in a world where you don’t need a networking group to network. Cost-cutting has followed but it appears to be on a more even keel now.

The task will be finding a chief executive for the next generation – someone who understands the digital world and can reflect a changing city.