Belfast Telegraph

Randox: From backyard chicken shed to international market leader with a staff of 1,300

By John Mulgrew

It's a local success story which began life more than 30 years ago in a chicken shed in the backyard of his parents' Co Antrim home.

The brainchild of Dr Peter Fitzgerald CBE, Randox is now one of our most forward-thinking and internationally renowned medical companies - specialising in a raft of diagnosis technology that's used across swathes of industry, from healthcare to toxicology and the food industry.

Starting off with a team of two back in 1982, Peter Fitzgerald and his new company eventually expanded to larger premises.

That was in an apple store, which would later be converted to house the international headquarters of Randox Laboratories in Crumlin.

After graduating from the University of Strathclyde, Dr Fitzgerald (right) came home to work as a researcher at Queen's University - spending his evenings and weekends developing diagnostic products.

That then led to early sales throughout the UK and Ireland, before he reinvested profits into further development - helping to grow Randox into a company currently employing around 1,300 staff.

Randox now operates more than 25 offices across the world.

It ranked number 36 in the Belfast Telegraph's Top 100 Companies, with its technology used in 140 countries.

And according to Dr Fitzgerald, turnover is expected to be up to around £150m for 2014.

He also aims for one in 10 of the Earth's population to have used his technology over the next few years.

But he's not resting on his laurels. Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph yesterday he said he "would like to hope" Randox could end up as one of Northern Ireland's biggest home-grown firms.

"There are a lot of good companies in Northern Ireland," he said.

"But we are very confident we can make good process.

"We don't have Northern Ireland competitors. We want to make products that improve lives, and are very happy to create jobs and wealth in the community."

Randox technology allows early and more accurate diagnosis, and can also help ease the strain on hospitals across the UK and further afield by catching medical issues early.

And it's a company forged and grown right here in Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph