Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)


Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)


Article excerpt

? ROB Nirsimloo is chief executive of Hexham-based Multichem and under what he calls his "hands-on" cultivation supplies inks to big brand marker manufacturers and retailers worldwide.

An amazing 99% of the firm's output is exported and this once small manufacturer of waterproof roof coatings and agricultural colorants, now supplies ink to more than 30 countries. It has been given a Queen's Award for Enterprise.

It has recently opened an office in China, producing inks there in association with an Australian company. Nirsimloo joined Multichem in 1998, 25 years after its launch, and he oversaw a move to a new manufacturing plant. Its progress over the following four years meant it needed to relocate again to premises two and a half times bigger.

Nirsimloo was operations manager then general manager before gaining overall charge to drive exports through the next phase of development. He outsourced IT, restructured R&D, rationalised staffing, appointed a non-executive director, revamped sales and marketing and appointed a new Chinese agent. His new sales strategy embraced, besides marker manufacturers, supermarkets and stationers. "We might otherwise have struggled at recession," he says, praising the support he received from RTC North and UKTI.

He had joined a one-product company which he admits is "not only risky, but gives opportunities to our one-stop-shop competitors." Now Multichem gives ongoing development in a full ink range and increasingly uses environmentally friendly methods. The company employs 17 in Hexham, China and Japan and has agents in China, Italy, India, Pakistan and Japan.

Nirsimloo was headhunted while general manager for Nicholson Seals, where he grew UK market share and developed exports in the offshore and automotive industries. At Multichem, he has driven turnover from pounds 2.3m in 2007 to pounds 3.8m in 2010. The firm's favoured charities are the XP Society and the RSPCA.

A lifelong fan of Manchester United and the Rolling Stones, Nirsimloo plays guitar, and enjoys walking his border collie. …

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