Interview: Marcus Short of Qualvis, Leicester Mercury’s Business of the Year 2017
Fresh from winning the Leicester Mercury Business of the Year, we caught up with Marcus Short, General Manager at Qualvis Print and Packaging to find out the secret of their success.
Congratulations on winning the Leicester Mercury Business of the Year. What is the background of Qualvis?
Qualvis Print & Packaging was set up by my Father and his business partner Robert Lonsdale in 1982. Qualvis Litho had previously operated as a trade printer under Bob but when my father joined, he brought the packaging element along with some trusted colleagues…and from there the company grew to what it has become today.
What does your role consist of?
I’m currently the General Manager at Qualvis so I oversee the top management team within the company. Most recently I project managed the implementation of our new ERP/MIS system and as of this week I’ve moved across to our Digital department to help set up the next generation of printing.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
Getting to work with top brands, a talented and creative design studio and the movement into a tech based market. Can be very challenging but keeps it fresh and exciting.
What are you most proud of in the last year?
A lot went on last year what with the investment in a new Litho press, a digital department and working towards implementing a new ERP/MIS…my most proud moment from that, is how everyone pulled together to make it happen. There was a real team spirit and a lot of hard work.
What is the biggest challenge that you face?
It’s difficult for all privately-owned businesses to survive when competing against global companies. Qualvis just need to keep a head of the game and offer something different!
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
Honestly, it’s the people and the opportunity to push the company forward!
What is your idea of success?
To keep Qualvis running as an independent family business who support all the employees that have and continue to help us succeed!
If you could start all over again, what would you change or do differently?
I don’t think there’s much point dwelling on what ifs…I’m happy at where we are today and excited about what the future holds.
Do you switch your work mind off over the weekends or are you always on backup?
I think it’s important to switch off but if I’m a 100% honest, what with it being a family business it’s never too far from my thoughts!
What do you think is the most valuable lesson you have ever learnt?
To put your trust in others as you can’t control everything.
What are the most personal satisfactions and dissatisfactions within your job role?
How we’ve managed to turn the company round and make it prosper and making my Father proud. Dissatisfactions just come with the territory but are usually good learning tools, and worth the initial disappointment in the end.
How well did your education prepare you for your job?
Well I did business studies at A Level and at University, theory is great but nothing beats being in a work environment. I think if apprenticeships are done right, they can be much more beneficial.
What would have been your dream job when you were growing up?
I think that was to be a Post Man.
What obstacles did you have to overcome?
My fear of dogs.
When did you first realise you were successful?
Well I won’t answer that as I see myself as fortunate, ask me again in 10 years.
What are your top 3 tips to running a business?
This maybe cliché but you have got to enjoy what you are doing, be hardworking and put your trust in others when needed!
What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
I’ve been interviewed by a business and leisure magazine.
What is the biggest piece of advice you could give somebody?
To enjoy what you are doing!
What hobbies do you have outside of work?
I play a bit of golf and have just started playing tennis…my first competitive match is in 5 days, hobbies definitely help you to switch off. Plus, the usual spending time with family and socialising with friends.
Where is your favourite place in Leicestershire?
Well I’m not actually from Leicestershire but the area has some beautiful villages, countryside and Rutland water (of course).
What is your favourite Leicestershire restaurant?
As above but I hear good things about the Cactus Café Mexican Cantina in Loughborough.
What does the future hold?
I wouldn’t give a way our plans that easily.