DIRECTOROFTHEMONTH From Carpenter to Chairman » » MIKE DERHAM OF MIGHTON Products discusses how life as a joiner in the 1970s led to his own line of windows, the “unorganised chaos” of his office, and working with ‘Mick Jagger’… 1. NAME/JOB TITLE: Mike Derham, Chairman, Mighton Products 2. WHEN DID YOU JOIN (OR START) THE COMPANY? Back in the late 1970s, I started up a small carpentry and joinery company based in east London. Our main source of business came from refurbishing sash windows for housing associations in and around the Hackney area, but we also produced replacement sash windows when the existing ones had deteriorated beyond repair. Repeatedly we came across examples of poor quality hardware, which prompted me to design and manufacture my own range. Within two years I had given up joinery and Mighton Products was born. That was then the early 1980s, but I have never lost my passion for the skills that go into refurbishing and manufacturing timber frames and other joinery products. I still enjoy being in such environments. 3. DESCRIBE YOUR WORKING DAY (FROM THE TIME YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE) Mighton Products is located very close to my home, in a pleasant rural area near Saffron Walden on the Cambridgeshire/Essex border. It is beautiful and relaxed but still close to the motorway network and is an ideal business location. I therefore take a short walk to work and catch up with people on the way through to my office; we chat through what’s happening with our development team, review management figures and of course, look at our future plans, which are quite ambitious. 4. WHAT IS YOUR WORKSPACE LIKE? My office is reasonably large as it is also the hub of the business and where we have management meetings and also, from where we talk to our various international distributors and suppliers located around the world. The 32 » JUN 2018 » CL EARVI E W- UK . C O M United States is an important market for us with substantial sales of our child-fall protection device Angel Ventlock going through our North American distributor Roto. I like tidiness and precision but my office is unorganised chaos. I have bits of product laying around in various stages of assembly and this forms an unusual juxtaposition against a backdrop of various bits of pop-art that I have acquired over the years at charity auctions, and which my wife doesn’t allow in the house. Box sash hardware overlooked by Mick Jagger does initially offer an unexpected scene for guests. These help me to stay in touch and get around. I don’t do games or anything of that sort although news apps are useful. 8. BEST BUSINESS DECISION IN YOUR CURRENT ROLE? Moving the company into the IoT - Internet of Things - arena. We have some tremendous developments that we will be talking about later this year… Although I come from a craft background as a joiner I am fascinated by technology but only insofar as it makes things better and simpler to operate. 6. WHAT WEBSITES HELP YOU? The usual – Google; Amazon; and the BBC for getting what I still believe is an even view of the world. 9. FAVOURITE ROLE MODELS AND WHY? It must be becoming a cliché these days but it has to be Elon Musk. He is a visionary who is now using his immense wealth to benefit mankind and not just to make more money. He alters peoples’ perceptions and attitudes with incredible ideas that he makes reality. Until just a few years ago very few of us would have considered an electric car; now the Tesla electric car is actually highly desirable and he has driven other manufacturers to up their game. Governments would not have announced deadlines for the end of carbon fuel powered cars if it was not for Musk. 7. MOST USEFUL BUSINESS TOOL? (SAT NAV/APPS ETC) The iPhone for sure. I am constantly looking out for more apps and have lots available including favourites such as Waze, Skyscanner, WeChat, Viber and WhatsApp. 10. HOW DO YOU UNWIND? Work for me is a hobby and we strive for a relaxed atmosphere in all parts of the business. By the end of the day, I like to think that unwinding isn’t necessary for our people. Though perhaps you had better ask them! 5. FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN YOU GET TO YOUR DESK? Check my iPhone for the umpteenth time. It’s a curse sometimes but allows me to carry on my business 24/7 and from almost anywhere in the world. I frequently travel to the USA, China and the Caribbean, and my iPhone allows me to keep in touch even hopping between planes, let alone countries.