LDC Top 50 2021
British Medical Auctions
When Markus Grad was approached by a London hospital to sell an old CT scanner, he recognised immediately that there was an extraordinary niche market for second-hand medical equipment in the developing world.
“We extend the life of used medical equipment by 10 or even 20 years,” he says. 25 years on, British Medical Auctions fulfils a vital role in e-waste reduction, saving over 10,000 items from landfill each month. Markus remains passionate about building a global ESG business. “Our corporate ambitions are evolving to meet the insatiable market demand” he says. “I just want to keep doing more, and doing it better.”
Our corporate ambitions are evolving to meet the insatiable market demand. I just want to keep doing more, and doing it better.”Markus Grad
Founder, British Medical Auctions
What does the future hold for British Medical Auctions?
Demand significantly outstrips supply. There are so many markets craving the equipment that the sale price is driven up. This is great for our clients, and we pass this value directly back to hospitals – we have paid a meaningful figure to the NHS this year, so their ESG efforts are paying off. Our buyers are truly international and we have expanded our operations in Continental Europe. We have identified our future locations, to be in 10 countries within the next three years.
How does your business contribute to a more sustainable future?
Products that are 10 years old are deemed scrap in the UK but we are giving them another decade of life. We are proud to provide an environmental service. If products are not working, we break them down for parts. We use Ecologi to plant trees so we are carbon neutral on transportation – we have planted 1,500 trees so far. We have Teslas and other hybrids in our fleet.
Have you had any mentors?
My father was my mentor. He was a serial entrepreneur and built the biggest private logistics company in the UK. He started it when he was 19. When I was young, and my friends were lying in bed until 2pm on weekends, he made me come to work. I worked in a warehouse from the age of 13. He paid me a pittance but it taught me the value of money. He also taught me what not to do. At one point, he ended up with around 40 businesses – and that taught me the importance of sticking with one thing and maintaining focus.