Hastings business included in The Manufacturer Top 100

Gary Stevens, managing director, with Duncan Ray, supply chain and NPI manager, pictured with their Top 100 trophies in Focus SB's showroom in St Leonards
Gary Stevens, managing director, with Duncan Ray, supply chain and NPI manager, pictured with their Top 100 trophies in Focus SB's showroom in St Leonards

Two employees at a Hastings business have been included in a list of the top 100 most inspirational individuals working in UK industry.

Gary Stevens and Duncan Ray from electrical wiring accessories firm Focus SB were included in The Manufacturer’s list for 2018.

Mr Stevens, the company’s managing director, was recognised as an ‘unsung hero’ while supply chain and NPI manager Duncan Ray won the ‘bold investor in new markets’ awards.

Mr Stevens said: “We are honoured to receive this recognition, it means a lot.”

The Manufacturer Top 100 annual scheme is run by The Manufacturer magazine, in partnership with Cranfield University, one of the country’s top centres of business education.

Now in its fifth year, The Manufacturer Top 100 project, run by The Manufacturer magazine, in partnership with Cranfield University, one of the country’s top centres of business education, publicly recognises the most dynamic leaders and innovators in manufacturing.

Its goal is to help dispel popularly-held myths that vibrant manufacturing in the UK is a thing of the past.

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Nick Peters, editorial director of The Manufacturer and of The Manufacturer Top 100 report said: “The individual stories are a compelling reminder of how strong and vibrant UK manufacturing really is.

“We need to keep saying that, because as a nation we seem to harbour the notion that no one in the UK makes things anymore, and young people are discouraged from considering careers in manufacturing.

“The truth is we do make things – we are the world’s 9th largest manufacturing nation – and careers are very well paid. But there are too few skilled young people coming through the system. It is on behalf of that new generation that we do this.

“We want to break down the decades-old prejudice against manufacturing. We want parents to get excited about recommending a career in manufacturing to their offspring, not see it (so erroneously) as an occupation of last resort.

“We must not let the prejudices of yesterday poison the opportunities of tomorrow.”

Focus SB has enjoyed a successful 2018.

After signing a ‘huge’ export deal with China in January, the company collaborated with Dragon’s Den star Kelly Hoppen MBE and also won the Export Award at the Made in the South East Awards at the end of November.

After signing the Chinese export deal, Mr Stevens said Focus SB was looking to ‘consolidate’ as it prepared for the future after Brexit.