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My Inspiration: Con Gallagher

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Con Gallagher, sales director of Anaconda (right) is joined by Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, managing director Alastair Forsyth (left) and production director Martin Quinn

Con Gallagher, sales director of Anaconda (right) is joined by Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, managing director Alastair Forsyth (left) and production director Martin Quinn

Con Gallagher, sales director of Anaconda (right) is joined by Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, managing director Alastair Forsyth (left) and production director Martin Quinn

The sales director of Anaconda Equipment explains why industry needs people willing to disrupt status quo

Over the years I've drawn inspiration from the achievements of a number of local and international business people in terms of what they have done or how they have achieved it.

A couple of business 'celebrities' come to mind, inevitably, people who have shaped entire industries and influenced the wider community.

Alan Sugar began as a market trader and has become a multi-millionaire entrepreneur from developments in sectors including computers. Richard Branson achieved tremendous success in several industries including air and rail travel, music and finance. Stelios Haji-Ioannou transformed the airline industry when he created easyJet, the no frills, low cost travel option. We are benefiting today from their endeavours, courage, talents and overall vision.

They were, and remain to this day, business disruptors and innovators. They make things happen, reshaping existing industries as well as creating new and dynamic ones and thereby firing the imagination and, more importantly, the enterprise of others across the economy. They are the role models, the innovators that every economy needs for growth.

In my own industry, crushing and screening, there are some excellent role models, pioneers who have taken the concept of mobile plant, developed it further, then sold it very professionally across the world. The companies they formed continue to do so to this very day.

I draw inspiration from people like Sean Quinn in Fermanagh, the people who helped build Powerscreen into the leading mobile crushing and screening provider around the globe, and the late John Finlay, the pioneer of mobile screening and block making.

From a humble rural background in Tyrone back in the 1950s, Finlay built his first concrete block-making machine in 1958, and then followed this with the first screening machine two years later. He developed the equipment to meet his own needs. Others saw the huge potential of the machinery and quickly 'beat a path to his door'.

It is a tribute to his enterprise that almost 50% of the world's production of such machinery is now concentrated in the Dungannon, Cookstown and Omagh area. Companies there provide jobs for many thousands of skilled employees and career opportunities in key disciplines such as R&D, new product design, and sales and marketing.

Highly sophisticated equipment is designed, manufactured, shipped and sold profitably from Tyrone to markets worldwide.

The concept of shipping screening machines worldwide in 40ft containers is not new but my colleagues in Anaconda have managed to design equipment that tracks in and out of containers without any breakdown. This feature allows the customer to get to work immediately, reducing commissioning times and improving overall efficiency.

Building this benefit into the design has been truly inspirational and has helped Anaconda reach markets which seem out of reach to others.

Perhaps the next generation of screening professionals will consider what Anaconda is currently doing as revolutionary and indeed inspirational.


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