Well known marine water and waste system company, Whale is delighted to announce that their Managing Director, Patrick Hurst has been recognized as a finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year (International category). This nomination is in recognition of his leadership in driving growth through innovation at the Northern Ireland based company.
People and Innovation at its Heart
Despite another year of economic uncertainty, Whale grew by 35% year on year, embracing the challenging times. This success is underpinned by the leadership of Patrick and his two fellow directors who ensure that innovation is firmly rooted at the heart of the company. With 15 world-wide design patents registered in the last 36 months, it is clear that the creative culture is driving the business forward.
On average, 70% of the Whale product offering today is new to the market-place compared to 4 years ago. This, combined with focus on sales and marketing, has enhanced the Whale brand and led to significant competitive advantage.
Patrick Hurst commented on his foundations for this success:-
"I am very privileged to head up a great team all of whom are passionate about the business, innovation and the customers we work for. I am delighted that our strive for innovation and business growth has been recognized by the Ernst and Young Judging Panel. (Patrick Hurst, Whale Managing Director)
Fellow Director, Stanley McFarland added:
"Patrick’s passion for Whale is inspiring for everyone who works in the business. His entrepreneurial spirit has led our team to deliver market beating products, branch out into new product areas and to set our standards at the very highest levels. We aim to consistently deliver great service. This is a fantastic achievement, and a reflection of the drive and integrity of Patrick’s approach to business. Despite the extremely difficult trading conditions of recent years, we have grown as a business by 35% since 2009, and Patrick’s strong leadership has been a major factor in that success. It is great for his talent to be recognized in such a prestigious way." (Stanley McFarland, Whale Engineering Director)
Whale’s recent innovations
Whale’s recent launches include a full range of Whale IC, intelligently controlled bilge grey and freshwater pump systems, Supersub Smart narrow low profile automatic bilge pumps designed to fit in awkward to reach bilge spaces, and the unique Whale Twist deck shower with patented integrated temperature and flow control handset. Whale are equally forward thinking behind the scenes, with the recent introduction of state of the art ‘Visual Factory’ touch screen technology designed to make production even more efficient. More significant product launches are planned for METS in November.
Open communication and a culture of empowerment
The leadership and management structure at Whale is a simple 3 tier flat structure. This facilitates very open lines of communication between Patrick and his team, and further enhances the culture of trust and empowerment for managers and individuals.
Whale 2011 highlightsThe most recent highlights were being named in the Best Companies Accreditation and Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work for (for the second consecutive year running) and in being presented with the top Northern Ireland Quality Award. The independent research carried out by Sunday Times is truly a testament to the inspiring leadership of Patrick Hurst and his team. The survey results were clear with staff loyalty and faith in the strong leadership being reflected by employees stating their faith in Patrick Hurst as Managing Director (89%) and belief in his sound moral principles in leading the business.