Alan Harbottle - Chairman
On 1 March 1981, Alan Harbottle completed his purchase of the gas detection division of Angus Fire Armour, creating Analox Sensor Technology. Rather than resell products imported from the United States, under Alan’s leadership Analox developed its own products for the Commercial Diving industry. Within two years, Analox had doubled its turnover.
Alan’s academic qualifications in physics and chemistry had led to a career in Technical Sales. His first job as Assistant Export Manager for a surgical equipment firm had given him a thorough understanding of export. Therefore, when Alan launched Analox, he was always targeting a global marketplace. Analox was sold by the shareholders to Servomex in 1990, but bought back single-handed by Alan in 1995.
By 1996, Analox was producing its own carbon dioxide (CO2) sensor, a development which allowed it to reduce the size and cost of CO2 analysers. This opened up a new sector of business in pubs, restaurants and venues using CO2 as a dispense gas. This new division of business helped Analox double in size. Further development saw Analox launch its first product for the sport diving market in 1997. Within five years, the company was the leading global supplier of nitrox diving cylinder analysers.
By 2006, Analox’s turnover had increased to £6 million per annum, and Alan’s role at the head of the company had become more managerial than entrepreneurial. By appointing Mark Lewis as Managing Director, Alan reclaimed his entrepreneurial position, and together Alan and Mark have ambitious targets for the company.
Alan was born and brought up in the North East, and since 1981 has seen his company expand from eight people in an office above a shop in Guisborough to a purpose-built facility in Stokesley, employing over 70 people.
Alan says: “From the moment I bought the gas detection division of Angus Fire Armour, I was investigating expansion possibilities, and potential markets in the UK and overseas. That entrepreneurial spirit, and excitement in expanding the company into new sectors and new territories continues today throughout the whole team at Analox. I am very proud of the company’s achievements to date and am incredibly optimistic about the future."
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