Friday, 11 January 2019
Exponential growth for PAL International
When Chamber member, PAL International wanted information on how the manufacturing sector is evolving and where the business should focus in order to grow they reached out to the Leicestershire Collaborate for Growth business support project.
PAL International is a family-owned manufacturing company which supplies single use disinfectant wipes and hygiene workwear. The business began in 1970 importing paper and linen single-use hygiene products from the USA then distributing them to food outlets around Leicester. It started manufacturing in 1973 with a range of specialist headwear for chefs and has outgrown its premises twice. It is currently based in Lutterworth in an 8,000 sq. m building with its own chemical and microbiology laboratories and a team of 80 employees.
Perminder Rupra began working at PAL in 2012 as Technical Manager then in April 2017, at just 39 years old, he took over as Managing Director. Historically turnover had stayed at the £10 million mark for some 20 years. However, last year it grew to £13.9 million and is set to be around £15 million by the end this year.
Perminder attended a ‘Developing a skilled and flexible workforce’ workshop where he met Collaborate adviser, Jo Bekis. His ambition, together with his leadership team is to be recognised as Europe’s most highly accredited wipes manufacturer in the area of quality management and be a £25 million business by 2022.
Perminder said: “We’ve been Chamber members* for a while and I knew it was a great resource for companies. Following the Collaborate workshop Jo provided information on grants, networking events and intelligence on what is happening in the manufacturing sector.”
He added: “We also discussed the issue of skills and what other businesses are doing to guarantee a supply of skilled labour. Jo has referred me to the Skills Support for the Workforce programme and is also providing guidance on succession planning and our business plan for 2020-22. This is all helping us to proactively prepare for the potential challenges ahead.”
Jo Bekis said: “PAL International is growing at a fast pace and is very forward-thinking. The leadership is exemplary; Perminder seeks advice from all corners of the business and with a number of external support organisations to establish a clear focus for phased growth. He is always happy to take expert knowledge on board and sector insight. It’s been a pleasure supporting Perminder and his team and I’m keen to watch this space as their global business expands.”
The business hope to create six more jobs as a result of this exponential growth and have already realigned the management team. PAL is also investigating new markets in India, Dubai, Hong Kong and China in preparation for Brexit.
Collaborate is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and partners Leicester City Council (lead partner), Leicestershire County Council, *East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) and the Food and Drink Forum.
Pic1: Managing Director, Perminder Rupra with their disinfectant wipe products
Pic 2: Production Manager, Andy McIvor with one of the pressing machines on the factory floor