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Member Profile


Chamber Insight Focus on a member


Name: Richard Bradwell


Company: Polydist Europe Holdings Ltd


Job Title: CEO


Member Section


What does your company do? Polydist is a pan-European polymer distributor with its head office in Burton. We source materials globally and deliver them locally in the UK, Spain, Turkey, France, Benelux and Germany. Our focus is on customer service and building long lasting relationships with everyone we come into contact with.


How did it all start? Laboratory assistant with Pirelli September 1968, taking day release plastics and rubber technology and HNC textile technology course – then after five years I noticed the chief chemist who was 60 years old and 10 levels above me arrived in a 15-year-old Vauxhall and the sales director drove a shiny new Rover. In 1973, I left to join BIP selling ‘Nylon 6’ – I stayed three years before joining Albis UK, who were then based in Wembley. Then in 1979 I left Albis to start my own business called Plastribution…


What’s your greatest achievement so far? Starting Plastribution at 28 years of age with £3,000 which I borrowed from Nat West and selling it to a FTSE ‘top 100’ company, Cookson Group plc in April 1988. The only reason it survived was that I wasn’t clever enough to know it couldn’t.


What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken – and did it work out? As above – starting Plastribution, with no knowledge or training on how to run a business or make it succeed and being blindly and determinedly optimistic, to make sure it did.


What keeps you awake at night? The next project.


If you could turn the clock back, what would you do differently? Learn languages.


What advice would you give to someone starting out? Think exactly what it is you want, try and plan as much as possible and then do it – know your numbers and never ever stop believing and dreaming – pessimism is a cancer – optimism is a blessing, but a good accountant is a bonus also. Never compromise your standards and always, always try and understand exactly what your suppliers and customers want and deliver it – then you have created value.


Which business do you most admire? Amazon.


What exciting projects is your business working on? Broadening our product and sustainable product portfolio – we have made every effort to introduce sustainable, biodegradable and recycled plastics into the UK and are seeing some exciting projects come from these materials.


What made you join Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and how are you making use of your membership? The wish to integrate more with regional businesses and utilise support and advice of the Chamber.


Tel: 01283 517517 Visit: www.polydistuk.com


May 2018 CHAMBERLINK 67


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