This month we're talking to Alan Braybrook our Business Development Director about what attracted him to the building controls industry and what advice he would give to someone starting out.
How long have you worked at Sontay?
What is your job role?
Identifying new market sectors for the company’s products away from our traditional base industry.
What are the best/worst things about your job?
Best thing is still getting that first order from a new customer it has always given me a buzz, I enjoy been presented with a problem by a customer and then coming up with a viable solution for them.
Worst? Trying to get past the “gatekeepers” in a company especially when you’re sure you have a solution that would be attractive, but unknown to them in their market sector.
What attracted you to working in the building controls industry?
I have always been a hands on practical person, so when starting out my working life as an electrician I always enjoyed working on, and fault finding controls, so moving to more commercial based controls environment was a natural progression.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
Listen to experienced colleagues, always be open minded and prepared to embrace new technologies….. be bold!!
Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
This is a difficult one as there have been many, from an electrician I worked with as an apprentice with who taught me how to break problems and complicated control circuits down to bite sized pieces, this advice which has helped me through my whole career, to our present Chairman from who I have learnt a great deal and respect immensely. But in having to pick one, it would have to be my late wife who always was the greatest source of encouragement and support to me in advancing my career, often when that entailed long days and having to spend time away from home and my leaving her to cope with our two young sons, Labradors and the AGA!!
What five guests would you invite to a dinner party? Dead or alive…
First without a doubt would be Winston Churchill, then Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Fred Dibnah, Jacques Cousteau, Paul Watson (Founder of Sea Shepherd).
What is your favourite book?
I have a very varied taste in both books and music and could list many but I really enjoyed “Beyond the Limits” by Ranulph Fiennes, who I had the pleasure of meeting at my eldest sons school speech day.
Who is your favourite musician?
Hmmmm lots here and I suppose more groups than individuals, Deep Purple and Iron Maiden, Airborne, Metallica, Fleetwood Mac as I am a great rock fan, but the one that stands out is Carlos Santana a brilliant musician to see live and gave possibly the best live gig I have been to. Best song: would have to be Boys of Summer by Don Henley it always raises the hairs on the back of my neck and gives me goose bumps, my partner cringes when it come on as she knows I will sing along with it …… and you don’t want to hear me sing!!
What is your perfect holiday? Sun or Snow?
These days Sun my bones need it, although when I was younger I always enjoyed both in equal measure.