Alistair graduated from Reading university with a degree in Economics and Accounting and joined the family business in 1992, as a Sales person in the Janitorial Supplies part of the business which at the time this was the smallest division of the family business.
Following a de-merger of the family business in 2005, Alistair identified the food manufacturing industry as a key growth area and began to focus the business on this sector. A management buyout in 2009 saw Alistair become the sole shareholder of Needlers.
The business continued to grow, developing a range of products and services specifically aimed at the food industry. A key part of the momentum at this point was on the commercial side of the business, where Needlers developed strong relationships with key suppliers, and began importing its own product ranges from the Far East.
Needlers currently turns over £21m, employing a team of 70-strong team in purpose-built premises in Melton, East Yorkshire. The company is now the number 2 supplier of safety, hygiene and PPE products to the UK food manufacturing industry. Needlers continues to diversify its products and services, whilst maintaining this focus.
Alistair’s approach has been to invest in people with the expertise to exploit opportunities throughout the business, from operational to strategic elements. It is this vision, combined with a strong aspirational culture throughout the company, to which Alistair attributes Needlers’ achievements.
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