LDC Top 50 2023
When Mark Davison took the helm at Grant Instruments in 2020, he wanted to future-proof the 72-year-old maker of precision instruments. This meant a renewed focus on the US and ensuring the culture at the Royston-based firm is second to none.
“We foster a culture of ambition and excellence. We operate a four-day work week, which is revolutionary for a manufacturing company,” he says. Innovation is also key to growth and adding to the current portfolio of instruments, Davison is expanding cryopreservation for the burgeoning field of cell storage. “We do what the customer wants within the industries that are growing,” Davison says.
Being an entrepreneur is all about calmly working out the acceptable level of risk and making sure it won’t cripple your business if something goes wrong.”
Where does your entrepreneurial spirit come from?
I don’t come from an entrepreneurial family but I’ve always been good with risk. Being an entrepreneur is all about calmly working out the acceptable level of risk and making sure it won’t cripple your business if something goes wrong. Before taking over here, I spent 15 years working for myself, so I’m used to being a self-starter and making my own luck. It’s a myth that all entrepreneurs are 20-something. I’m 55.
Why are you so passionate about this business?
It’s crucial that the UK retains a precision manufacturing base. If not, we’ll always be hostage to companies from elsewhere. Lots of companies in the UK make things that the man on the street may not have heard of, but they are leaders in their field. Not every UK business needs to be a service business.
How important is sustainability to you?
We have reduced our carbon footprint by moving to a super-efficient building. We are also moving to producing more sustainable products, such as making casing from brushed stainless steel rather than painting them, which makes them much easier to recycle. We make sure our instruments use the minimum amount of energy to do the job they need to do, and have an end-of-life plan for everything we make.