After 36 years working at Manrose, Clive Britton has retired as Sales Director, heralding the end of an era for the British fan manufacturer. Affectionately known in the electrical industry as Mr Manrose, Clive Britton is probably the longest-serving sales director in the sector. Joining Manrose in 1987, Clive has been Sales Director through nine Prime Ministers and has seen a sector transformation.
Clive started his sales career in 1976, aged 20, when he joined Lyons Tetley where he worked his way up to Area Manager. In 1987, Clive’s good friend Robert Belcher, whose family was already in the fan business, decided to set up a new company. On 24 December 1987, the company was registered with Clive as company secretary and Manrose was born, with its first production line in Clive’s parents’ garage, staffed by friends.
In the beginning, Manrose started small with only 15 product lines and a couple of variations, including a 4in standard, pull cord and timer fan, two shower fans and three window fans. Now 35 years later, Manrose has over 3,200 products.
In 1989, originally in the background, Clive joined Manrose as Sales Manager with a brief to double the company sales from £500,000 to £1m in a year. Clive didn’t only double the turnover, but he grew the business to £1.3m in just 12 months and he was made Sales Director in 1990. By 1996, Manrose was recognised by every electrical buying group in the electrical trade, striking the order pad with £1m turning into £2.5m and then to £6m, as the company continued to grow.
In 2007 Manrose’s turnover reached £20m and Volution Holdings, recognising the British manufacturer’s success, bought the company. Since then, there has been significant R&D to meet customer demand, regulation and the drive to reduce carbon, resulting in a raft of new products, including the energy efficient Lo-Watt range.
More recently, Clive witnessed a manufacturing transformation at Manrose’s Reading site with the company moving from using virgin to recycled plastic, helping to make ventilation sustainable. To reduce carbon, Manrose has invested in R&D and manufacturing technology to develop ventilation products from recycled sources with 90% of the plastic used in its facilities to be from recycled sources by the end of 2025, without compromising on quality or reliability.
Clive says, “Now is the right time for me to go; everything is going really well. We are leaders in transforming our manufacturing from using virgin to recycled plastic. We are in a strong position as a brand leader. I’m very pleased Stuart Eglin is taking over from me as Sales Director. I feel the company is in safe hands because Manrose is very special. I have seen the company grow from the start, it is important to me.”
Clive is very happy with his successor Stuart Eglin, who is Manrose’s new Sales Director. Stuart came from Crompton Lighting in the electrical sector so he already knew the industry. During last year, Clive has been working on special projects while Stuart has taken the helm, ensuring a seamless transition.
To read more on Manrose, click here.