BWS issue 36 November December 2015 - Page 28

26 BUSINESS WOMEN SCOTLAND profiles Family Business Keira Proctor spends her days in the Victorian house that’s been in her family for generations, sitting at the desk that used to be her grandfather’s, with her dog Dougal at her feet. And it’s from there, now converted to a fully functioning office which houses over half of the company’s 130 staff that she runs her award-winning and rapidly growing family business, looking to expand into new markets all over the world. T he A. Proctor Group began life manufacturing textiles and supplying flax to Scotland’s mills. Now, four generations later, it is a specialist manufacturer and supplier of innovative breathable membranes and vapour control layers to the construction industry. They also supply specialist insulation products into oil and gas, rail and automotive industries. Much of the success and expansion of the past few years has been driven by exporting. Keira said: “What we find works extremely well is to focus in on one particular country or market and make sure that we understand the local regulations - the local requirements. “And once we understand that and what the customers want, that’s when we start to see success. We have customers in 19 countries and we have actually supplied projects in 22 in 2015 alone. “Probably one of the most challenging things is actually finding the decision makers in these markets and what Scottish Enterprise has done is put us in touch with people who know people.” Getting to know decision makers and finding out, through them, what the market wants has been the key to the company’s international growth. Once the need is identified, by listening to customers – and to staff that deal with customers - innovation is often necessary to create a product that meets the need. Under Keira’s direction, A. Proctor Group has evolved its products to meet demand in new markets. The company is committed to this process through extensive research and development at their headquarters in scenic Perthshire. Based in Blairgowrie may seem, on the face of it,