What does your business do?
GripIt is a DIY fixings business that exports to more than 34 countries worldwide. We make – in house – a revolutionary range of plasterboard fixings capable of holding up to 180kg, making them suitable for everything from curtains to boilers. Since starting the business when I was 14, I have grown it year on year with products stocked in more than 5,000 UK stores, including Wickes and Homebase. We are always adding to our product line to ensure we are the go-to brand for DIY fixings and tools.
In January 2018 I acquired and became CEO of automotive industry heavyweight VPS Group. We are the leading supplier for the automotive sector and have expanded our revenue streams to include a booming number-plate manufacturing arm. Our customers include Toyota, Isuzu Motors and GBA Group.
What has been your company’s greatest achievement so far?
GripIt has won the trust of more than 5,000 UK stores and 15,000 stores across Australia, New Zealand and the US. We have also conducted numerous fundraising rounds for GripIt, including a £2m crowdfunding campaign that raised £2.14m in just five days.
What has been your biggest challenge?
When I was 13 I was forced to quit school after being bullied by a teacher. I’d never performed well academically – largely because my mind was on business – but I felt victimised. According to my teacher, I was making the biggest mistake of my life when I decided to leave – but today I couldn’t disagree more.
What are your plans for hitting your targets?
Over the coming year I will be focusing on applying the business lessons I learnt from GripIt at VPS Group to raise funds, broaden our customer base and hit our growth targets. I will also continue to diversify GripIt’s range of products in order to expand the company further into Australia and America.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give fellow entrepreneurs?
Your greatest tool is knowledge. It will help you identify when you’re on to a good idea and anticipate obstacles your business may face. Understand your company’s growth potential, weaknesses and strengths, and where it sits within the wider market. Always ensure you keep learning through research and reflection.