Martin graduated from Glasgow University with an Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering. While at university he set up the final year club and was president of the Engineering Society. He then joined Perkins Engines in Peterborough where he completed his apprenticeship .
In 1980 Martin went out to South Africa to join Massey Ferguson, Perkins’ parent company. There he took on responsibility for over $1m of capital projects that included a new .75MW heat treatment plant as well as the factory’s first CNC machine tools. Martin was accepted onto the full-time MBA programme at the University of Cape Town, which he completed in December 1982. On his return he took on responsibility for manufacturing. He then moved on and managed factories making construction equipment and refractories.
Martin returned to the UK in 1986 and re-joined Glasgow University, this time as a Research Fellow in the Centre for Entrepreneurial Development. Here, he was responsible for setting up and running a number of programmes to assist high growth firms as well as graduates exploring their own ventures. Martin was also active in business consultancy and subsequently joined a client – The Planning Exchange. The Exchange operated the UK’s most extensive library of semi-published literature covering planning, economic development and regeneration. Martin was given responsibility for the organisation’s consultancy, events and IT. An early activity involved preparing the business plan to secure investment from the Charities Aid Foundation. This helped the Planning Exchange manage its transition from being a publicly funded charity to one that was wholly self-financing. This concluded with iDox buying the operations of the Planning Exchange in 2002. Just prior to this Martin moved south and set up Management Focus.
Management Focus undertakes two main types of work; economic development research and specialist projects. Much of the economic development work is done in conjunction with others, with Martin either leading teams or acting as a subcontractor to other firms. The specialist projects are very varied and call upon Martin’s broad skills and experience. His role has been described as an ‘executor/converter’ of ideas as he is called upon to turn visions into reality or deal with tricky challenges.
Outside work, Martin would like to travel, play golf and brush up on his very rusty Swahili. However, DIY seems to beckon constantly and he looks forward to the day that the house is ‘done’.