A SHINTY player who quit working offshore to return home, set up his own business which now has a turnover in excess of £2 million.
Thain Electrical, set up by Kingussie playing legend Kevin Thain, now supplies commercial heavy duty laundry equipment to lighthouse boats, coastguard vessels and fishing boats from as far away as Norway.
He supplies and fits heavy-duty washers, dryers and dishwashers to the Royal Navy Reserve and even to nuclear submarines.
On dry land, Kevin’s business covers most of Scotland and is the country’s largest independent operator in the sector – with contracts to supply and service hotels, care homes, housing agencies, health boards and local authorities.
Thain Electrical also runs electrical product outlets in Aviemore and Glasgow and employs 15 people.
Kevin said: “I worked in the North Sea for five years but was missing my shinty so I gave up the job to go home. My father advised me that Aviemore was expanding and it was the right time to go into the electrical business.
“That was 17 years ago and it proved the right decision, not least for my shinty as I went on to finish with 12 Camanachd Cup winners medals.
“The business grew as we became the main Highlands and Islands distributor for Miele electrical products, which we now sell and service in the Central Belt as well.”
He added:”We identified a gap in the professional laundry market 15 years ago and seven years ago we opened a base in Cumbernauld to service the Glasgow area, a key strategy move which has paid off.
“We now have a fleet of 11 vehicles and we continued to grow throughout the recession because of the niche nature of our activity.
“Turnover has gone through the £2 million barrier, which I couldn’t have dreamed of when I started up.
“I have ex-Kingussie player Scott Falconer as my sales and marketing manager which has proved an excellent appointment and we’re now the largest Scottish buyer of Miele heavy duty laundry products.
“It’s about providing quality machines with a quality service and guaranteed swift response. If a Norwegian trawler comes into port at Mallaig or Invergordon, we have to give them a fast and successful service.
“Whether it’s a care home or a nuclear sub, our attention to detail and rapid response is the same. Thain Electrical has grown through quality service generating repeat business. It’s a false economy to let our standards drop.”
Now 42, Kevin made several appearances for Kingussie last season and has scored five goals for their second team in the new campaign.
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Contact: Bill McAllister