Insights / Portfolio personalities: the pool champ turned operations director

Portfolio personalities: the pool champ turned operations director

Martin Linden is the operations director at Window Supply Company, a Livingston-based business supported by BGF since January 2020. He was previously operations director at Stevenswood, which BGF backed from 2015 until its successful acquisition by Polyframe Trade Centres the following year.

  1. How long have you been with the company?

Since start up in March 2019. My role oversees everything that gets purchased, manufactured and delivered to all our customers. Before joining the business, I was part of the team at Stevenswood (a manufacturer of windows and doors) and had a similar role where we took the business from £4 million to £18 million before a successful exit.

  1. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love the excitement of growth. We are big into continuous improvement and we are lucky to have an engaged workforce.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced at the business?

When we closed in March last year due to the pandemic, as a new business we were fearful of the unknown. Thankfully, we came through with flying colours.

  1. Why did you choose BGF as a funding partner?

We were fortunate to have been involved with BGF in our previous company, Stevenswood. We had a very successful partnership and BGF was instrumental in our exit.

  1. What’s changed since BGF came on board?

It has allowed us to fast track our growth. A new business can burn a lot of cash in the early years, however BGF have been very supportive and want to assist us in our aggressive growth plans.

  1. What advice would you give to other operations directors?

Believe in yourself, involve your team in what you do and go and make it happen.

  1. As a COO, how do you operate alongside your CEO and CFO?

We have a great working relationship – this has been the key to our success. We are all aligned and trust each other.

  1. Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

We will have had a successful exit from the business, I will be spending more time at my apartment in Spain and I will help support people with their health goals – I have a real passion for health and fitness. We also have a few ideas on future start-up businesses so watch out for that!

  1. Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

I am a keen pool player. I represented my country at the European and Nations Cup in Malta, where we won both honours.

 

Quickfire round

  • If you could be a movie character, who would it be? Superman
  • Historical person you most admire? Andrew Carnegie
  • Favourite joke or quotation? “For things to change, you have to change. For things to get better, you have to get better.” Jim Rohn
  • Burpees or mountain climbers? Burpees all day long
  • Beach or country? Beach
  • What did you want to be when you grew up? Professional snooker player

Supporting business in your region

BGF has invested more than £250 million in businesses across Scotland, including high tech lasers in Glasgow and family housebuilders in Fife.

Overall, BGF has invested £2.5 billion in more than 400 businesses in the UK and Ireland.

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