As the business developed, Giromax launched the careers of leading industry professionals, who make up the majority of our welcomed competition within the market today. This ensures Giromax continues to strive to be the best we can be for our customers. Over the following three months, we will share some exclusive blogs with you, but let’s start right at the beginning…
Roy Emmett – the innovative engineer
Roy was born in pre-war Burnley, Lancashire in a two-up two-down terrace, with a small yard and an outside toilet. After passing his eleven-plus with flying colours, Roy refused point blank to go to grammar school. He objected because he wasn’t keen on attending with “all of them poshos!”, which is how he referred to the more affluent kids in the area. Instead, Roy attended Townly Technical School, where he studied to become an engineer.
Roy’s first job saw him working for Lucas Engineering in the heart of his hometown of Burnley. His consistent drive and need to progress led him to move to Coventry in 1964 in search of new and more challenging opportunities. By this time, Roy had a young family. He packed everyone in the sidecar of his Lambretta and headed off to the Midlands to start a new life.
Roy worked for various engineering firms before joining Chrysler Talbot, which subsequently became the car giant Peugeot. At the start of a seemingly disruptive career, Roy invented an innovative new production conveyor. At the time, this invention enabled production to be far more efficient and resulted in very disgruntled union workers at the plant!
A natural salesman
In the 1970s, Roy changed his focus from hands-on engineering to selling, becoming a ‘salesman’. He grew into the role and found a natural ability to persuade and generate income.
At the time, he felt the role was much maligned and looked down on by people in the UK. However, his view on being a salesman was the fact it was one of the most important roles to help the economy and it supports how the country is run.
Around this time, Roy was admitted to hospital after a road traffic accident. While in pain and lying in his hospital bed, he struck up a friendship with a small energetic nurse called Bubbles.
Bubbles went onto become Roy’s second wife. Their initial meeting in the hospital set the tone for their long and happy partnership. When she found out what Roy did for a living, she replied “you’re one of them!” in reference to him being a salesman. Throughout their life together, Bubbles would challenge and support Roy in equal measure.
In his new role selling air compressors, Roy became very successful, and went on to become the UK’s top salesman for global market leader, Ingersoll Rand.
Building a business in a recession
In the 1980s, as the UK entered a recession with falling output and rising unemployment, Roy decided to set up his first business. He started with an office built into the understairs cupboard at his family home. But he had the unwavering support of Bubbles, who was working four nights a week on a busy hospital ward.
The business specialised in selling and servicing air compressors, and they fast became the country’s top distributor for Ingersoll Rand. Roy’s entrepreneurial nature, combined with his drive for progress, led to him establishing a pipe-fitting firm, which became the first distributor for Corroless corrosion coatings.
Roy ran this business successfully throughout the 1980s. He became a successful and skilled business leader. In keeping with the time, he made the most of opportunities presented to him, as the economy emerged out of recession and into an era of prosperity. There were opportunities for those who were in a position to grow their businesses.
Developing a niche in the market
Following a speculative introduction by a friend, Roy became aware of a small specialist coating firm with just one customer. That customer was British Steel. Always looking for a new challenge, Roy decided once again to invest in a new opportunity. He set about bringing this specialist coating product to mass market. And the very niche cut edge corrosion sector was established.
Through his relationship with British Steel, Roy met those who were to become members of his core team, when he founded Giromax in 1996. Working together, this team continued to develop innovative formulations for the coating of cut steel. Used primarily on industrial building roofing systems, the coating was designed to mitigate, minimise and treat cut edge corrosion. The key benefits included improved longevity of roofing on industrial buildings.
And this is where Giromax began…
In the next part of our story series, we will look at how Roy’s values and leadership launched the careers of sector experts We will also look at how the UK market for cut edge corrosion treatment was influenced by Giromax products.