Future 50: Expanding Vanilla looking for local talent
- Credit: Vanilla/Susannah Fields
Exciting opportunities at rapidly-expanding tech group.
Regional tech firm Vanilla Electronics has started the year on a recruitment drive. The specialist manufacturing group has a range of vacancies at its Norfolk HQ. “We’re growing fast,” explains MD Dan Croft. “We’ve taken on in the region of 18-20 people in the past 12 months already.
“We've quadrupled the size of our company in the past 12 months,” he adds. “Not just through organic growth – we’ve acquired two businesses in the past nine months as well. Acquiring PCB assembly businesses Bela in March, which added around £7 million turnover. When we bought Interconics in September that brought the group turnover to about £25 million.”
That's not the end of the expansion programme, with plans to add another company to the group well underway. “The aim is to get the deal agreed in the first quarter,” Mr Croft confirms. "We want to complete two further acquisitions each year.”
As a specialist in the design, prototyping, manufacture and distribution of high tech electronics, Vanilla’s acquisitions have been focused on adding not only scale but also capability to the group, with both Bela and Interconics broadening the group’s offering.
“With electronics manufacturing, some business are drawn to overseas production to save money by going into a lower-cost region – which is what we're trying to avoid,” Mr Croft explains. “We try to keep the business here in the UK, focusing on low-to-medium volume, high-technology projects where cost isn't the main driving factor: it's the quality and technology.
“For the roles we’re looking to fill, people don’t need technical knowledge,” he stresses. “It's about those core skills – we’re looking for commercially-sharp, ambitious, talented people that we can develop within the businesses. Commercial acuity is more important than sector knowledge.
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“We want to attract people from other areas in the east of england, to show that Thetford and Vanilla have some really exciting career opportunities in tech,” he concludes. “We have aspirations to become a £100 million company in the next three years. The chance to join an exciting business like this don’t come along that often.”
For more information see www.vanillaelectronics.com