How my hard work and foresight helped make packet in packaging
Terry Cross is chairman and joint managing director of Delta Print and Packaging in west Belfast, which employs nearly 300 people making packaging for clients including McDonald's and Nokia.
What was your first job?
Newspaper delivery boy.
Is there anyone out there who taught you how to succeed in business?
It would have to be Fred Wilson of FG Wilson.
Do you have any mantras for business?
You need to employ the right people for the job, ensure you invest in technology to remain at the forefront of your sector, never compromise on quality control or customer service – these are fundamentals. Finally, embrace innovation – in Delta Packaging this approach has meant we deliver safer, more effective packaging to market.
How have things changed since you established the business in 1981?
Technology has altered the landscape. In terms of printing we've moved from letter press to lithography and more recently flexography. We are also starting to see the impact of digital technology in short-run, high-value production areas, such as pharmaceuticals.
Delta is a global company with international markets accounting for most of its sales, and with manufacturing centres in China and India. What will the world be like in 10 years time?
More populous. There will be a greater awareness of resources, sustainability and biodegradability. I think you will see consumers demanding higher value utilisation of scarce resources. From a retail perspective the fast food sector will still be very prevalent and there will be an even greater demand for environmentally friendly packaging.
Any business regrets?
I didn't do it earlier. I didn't push to grow the business at an earlier stage.
Have you any advice for someone starting out in business?
Make sure there is a market for your product.