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Two’s Company: Ian McKernan & Paul Barnard, Molecular Products

Very different backgrounds can lead to the best results when looking to rapidly grow a business.

Molecular Products, which employs 140 people, is a global supplier of carbon dioxide absorbents and filters, and oxygen generation for the anaesthetic, submarine and aerospace markets. The business received funding of £4m from the Business Growth Fund in 2014.

Ian McKernan and Paul Barnard are the chief executive and non-executive chairman of the company, and are planning to double its turnover over the next five years.

Ian and his brother Andrew took over the running of Molecular Products from their father in the mid-nineties.

After BGF’s investment, Ian was introduced to Paul and the personal chemistry between the two led to Paul becoming Molecular Product’s chairman in 2014.

Paul’s experience and insight from larger companies helps in Molecular Product’s contractual discussions and negotiations. He has also led acquisitions, start-ups and major growth initiatives.

Here, in The Telegraph’s Two’s Company series, Paul and Ian discuss how their very different backgrounds, including Paul’s strategic oversight, are in fact complementary when trying to grow Molecular Products’ market share.

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