For those less familiar with your position within GJD, could you please give a brief overview of your role within the company?
I’m the Managing Director and main shareholder of GJD. Mainly this involves providing strategic direction to the company and being the key account custodian.
What first ignited your interest in the manufacturing industry and the world of security?
I’ve always enthused over technology having studied Electronic Engineering at the University of Natal, South Africa.
I returned to the UK in 2001 and my first role was managing a company that made street lighting controls. The owners of that company asked me to look out for complementary businesses to acquire. I stumbled across GJD and decided to take the plunge myself. And, as the saying goes - the rest is history!
Which of your products excites you the most in 2021?
At GJD we have four product categories: Detection (incl. Lidar / Laser), Illumination, ANPR and Enunciators.
The new ANPR cameras have already been adopted by local councils to assist nationwide Clean Air Zone projects. Our technology is being adopted and will offer some neat groundbreaking USP’s!
What continues to excite me is our Laser detection sensors used for security and safety applications and our hybrid white & IR LED illuminators have great potential.
Is there a particular product that launched GJD and cemented its success?
Before I joined GJD, it was probably best known for its ‘Opal’ detector. Then at the end of 2005 we launched the D-TECT range and I can proudly say that the detector’s iconic design and aesthetics have enjoyed great success with sales rising year on year.
What’s unique about GJD compared to others in the industry?
It would have to be our professional responsiveness. Nothing is ever too much trouble. We’re fleet footed without corporate red tape and so can react quickly to customer requests - we’re here to help!
Take us back to 2004 when you first entered the company. What were your goals upon entering? Did you have a clear direction in which you wanted to take the company? How does that reflect in what the company looks like now?
My goal when first entering the company was to make ‘GJD’ a household name. It was also to export our products. In those days we only sold to ROI outside of the UK!
I wanted to double turnover and double profits within two years. Today we sell to over 60 countries and our revenue has grown by at least 15% year on year. We are also proud recipients of the Queens Award for Enterprise: International Trade.
How has the industry changed from when you first entered in 2004 to now?
Laser/Lidar detection is now recognised as a reliable and very exact detection technology. Also, CCTV video analytics has made a big splash over the last five years.
That said, video analytics software is still not reliable for external applications, but certainly provides an additional detection for indoor monitoring.
Interestingly, home automation and smart home technologies such as “Ring” have spawned a whole new DIY security industry.
How do you advertise your business? Do you think your company/industry has adapted well to the new and fast rise of social media being the dominant platform in which to advertise?
We mainly advertise through our website, expo’s and customer roadshows. Regarding social media, we were slow to adopt this platform, but can now clearly see the benefits!
Before joining GJD you had experience being Managing Director of a consulting company called BIC. Did you take anything away from this experience that you brought into GJD?
At BIC we prided ourselves on providing our clients with the smartest automated production solutions that would improve their productivity and efficiency. This commitment to client service was something I carried through with me to GJD and the importance we place on professional responsiveness.
I learnt the importance of going to the end of the earth for our clients. Quite literally in my case, as during my time there I went cold calling in Antarctica. Check out the photo I took of the Emperor penguins!
And lastly, to what do you attribute your success?
The success of GJD is down to having a great team of dedicated and hardworking people. Nothing is ever too much trouble.
We’re a fun place to work, but take what we do very seriously indeed, with a strong focus on quality, innovation and responsiveness.