BR: How long have you worked in the bathroom industry?
Since I joined Aqualisa in February 2014 from Dyson, where I was MD, UK and Ireland
BR: What are the key USP’s offered by your company?
Innovation! From our bi-metallic, thermostatic valve - which revolutionised British bathrooms - to the first digital shower, designer electric showers and now with Q and Q EDITION, a new generation of smart showers .
BR: What new manufacturing technologies excite you?
Take the word manufacturing out of your question and I’d say the internet of things. I think the guys at Nest (now owned by Google) did something amazing: Taking something as ordinary as the thermostat and making it exciting and useful is a great achievement. If you want to stick to manufacturing, then it’s got to be 3-D printing. It’ll be a while before anyone’s printing showers, but printing some of our spare parts may not be so far away.
BR: What challenges do you foresee for the industry over the next 12-24 months?
My challenge is to foresee Aqualisa’s future. With ever increasing demand for consumer choice, there’s a temptation to be all things to all people. That can be dangerous – for instance when companies spread themselves too thinly and outside their area of expertise. Aqualisa is obsessed with showers, all types of showers, but only showers.
BR: Which industrial designer do you admire the most and why? (Living or departed)
I'm bound to say James Dyson and the engineers he inspires though his annual international award. Although not a winner, my personal favourite was Min-Kyu Choi who designed the Mu folding three-pin plug - a clever, thoughtful, solution to an everyday problem. Now I have a whole team of industrial designers I admire in our R&D department at Aqualisa.
BR: Where do you think the industry most needs to improve?
We need to do more to educate installers and consumers about the fantastic benefits of smart showers. Industry insiders get it, but there’s work to do to persuade installers of their ease of installation and home owners of the sophisticated level of control a smart shower gives them, such as automatically checking water temperature 100 times per second.
BR: Online has certainly changed the market, what key benefits have you seen?
Online presents more opportunities. It allows consumers to compare prices between a massive range of shower products and it’s an additional opportunity for manufacturers to engage directly with installers, owners and prospective owners about their needs.
BR: What advice would you give a new starter in the industry today?
Start at Aqualisa! We are an exciting, vibrant, growing business with an obsession for showers and a passion to work with our customers to help them (and ourselves, of course) succeed. Wherever you start, look at the bathroom business through a category lens - how can we all work towards identifying and providing products which address unmet consumer or installer needs.
Whilst there is a mass of information available, seek real insight to anticipate trends before others do. Make greater use of tools and techniques which have been proven to work in other sectors such as Customer Segmentation, again applicable both to installers and consumers.
BR: What motivates you most in your work?
My family inspire me - my children, my wife, my mother and the memory of my father who passed away 20 years ago. At work, I am inspired daily by the great stuff I see colleagues do.
BR: If you could choose a super-power what would it be & why?
Speed! I’m in a hurry to help Aqualisa grow market share across all three showering categories and to double the size of the smart shower market. Just call me (The) Flash…