Hall of Fame / Gael Force
Gael Force Group
Turning a small enterprise into a large business is something that many young entrepreneurs merely dream about, but Stewart Graham, the first ever national winner of the Scotland Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1984, is living that dream.
Initially a one-man-enterprise producing 1,000 lobster creels a year, Gael Force has grown to become the UK’s leading supplier of marine equipment to the leisure and commercial sectors. The company, which still produces creels at an increased rate of 1,500 a week, has grown to employ 110 staff and achieves a turnover of £15m, which makes it one of the biggest private businesses based in the Highlands of Scotland.
Gael Force Marine operates in three business sectors, namely; the thriving UK leisure marine market; the commercial fishing and marine sector; and, the rapidly growing aquaculture market.
The company’s marine megastore and its online catalogue sell over 12,000 different products from anchors to wet suits, to customers ranging from yachting enthusiasts to shipping companies.
Always looking to strengthen and diversify the business, Stewart has recently developed “Aqua Homes”; an innovative property development business to provide homes and offices that float on water.
Stewart says his success comes from his competitive nature and the desire to be the best in his field: “When I enter a market, my aim is to be the best in the industry.”
Sailing around the world in his yacht is Stewart’s next challenge. What of the business? Stewart says he has excellent fellow directors and managers to take care of, and grow, the business whilst he’s away.