Meet the Team: Director Andrew Cuckson
They say entrepreneurs are born, not made – and when it comes to our company directors that adage certainly rings true. Of course, everything in business is a learning experience but the drive and commitment required to start a business from scratch and guide it through decades of growth and change is something you just can’t teach. The unswerving passion of our directors is what has seen Denka become what it is today – a vibrant, future-looking enterprise that puts customers first. We caught up with Andrew Cuckson to find out more about his journey so far…
Hi Andrew! You’ve been involved with Denka for almost 20 years – tell us how it all began…
Well, for me it started in 2001 when I had my own business called Blue Diamond Surgery Supplies. We merged with Patrick’s company in 2003 to become Surgery Express LLP, then rebranded as Dental Express Supplies Ltd, and then last year obviously we undertook another rebrand and repositioning exercise to become Denka UK Ltd. Prior to starting my first company I worked in an office furniture business for six years, straight out of school. I started on the shop floor and worked my way up to management level – that was an invaluable learning curve and an experience I’ll always be grateful for, because when I started my own business, the training I’d received came in very handy!
Describe your typical day at Denka…
Busy! I’m responsible for leading sales, customer service, purchasing, accounts, operations and credit control so it can be quite intense. On the sales side, I spend a good chunk of time calling the reps in the mornings and making sure they have everything need for their calls; the other silos are more reactive.
What’s the thing you love most about your role at Denka?
I love the challenge of owning a business and leading others. You have to be a positive person to be able to guide others through the challenges they face in their roles and it’s really important that we do that on this fast growth journey. The marketplace we are operating in is very exciting and we have great opportunities ahead of us. We have set out with an excellent strategy and I feel that because of this we have a great opportunity that the competition doesn’t have.
Do you have any hobbies or interests away from work? How do you unwind at the end of a long week?
I don’t have any hobbies as such, although I do enjoy walking and I find that’s great for blowing the cobwebs off. As a family we do a lot of entertaining which helps unwind at the end of a week. Our children range from 11-18 so it’s a busy household, there aren’t many opportunities to relax!
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself that colleagues might not know?
My very first car was a Mini Cooper which I bought for £50 as the engine was seized up. I trained as a mechanic in my GCSE (a course called VDE – vehicle design and engineering) which meant I could refurbish the complete car and get it back on the road – a proud achievement!
Name a food you love that your dentist would disapprove of?
Fry’s Cream Bar
What’s the one thing that always makes you smile?
More sales! And our fantastic team. There’s nothing better than being surrounded by loyal, dedicated people at work.