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3 minute read

10 Questions With – Stephen Ollier, MD of Pentaxia

1 – What drove you to pursue a career in manufacturing and how old were you?

While I am a professional engineer, I spent my career in the engineering service industry, mostly relating to railways. I retired for a year and got bored and by chance met a couple of highly capable guys who wanted to work with me in a small manufacturing business. I was 58 when I started Pentaxia.

2 – What is your proudest career achievement so far?

Creating nearly one hundred highly skilled, well-paid jobs in Pentaxia.

3 – What is a typical day for you? Time you wake up, get to the factory/office, go home etc.

I do like to spend the early part of the day with my wife, so I arrive at work about 9am or sometimes later. I usually have a snack lunch at work and then think about travelling home around 4pm, preferably missing the rush! This give my team time to get things moving before I arrive!

4 – If you hadn’t embarked on a career in manufacturing, what do you think you would be doing now?

Still retired!

5 – What’s one thing you have implemented in your business that you would encourage other manufacturers to embrace and implement?

Putting all the key Production Management Team in the same office.

6 – If you could choose, what would you like your legacy to be once you retire?

To show that older managers still have much to offer, because of their experience.

7 – How do you think the manufacturing community can collectively continue to engage and interest young people in manufacturing careers?

Pentaxia manufactures advanced composite products for aerospace, luxury automotive and motorsport. If you can get the young people through the factory door, the products we make generate the excitement needed. The key is getting young people engaged and that has to involve their teachers, who usually have little manufacturing knowledge. So enthuse the teachers!

8 – Any wise words, advice or tips for someone looking to pursue a career in manufacturing?

Manufacturing is a true wealth creator and will play an even more important part in the UK’s future well being. Engineering will become one of the highest paid professions, as it is in places like Germany that value manufacturing.

9 – What one thing would you change to make your business more efficient and productive if money was no object?

I would spend more money on developing new manufacturing techniques. Advanced composites will undergo huge changes over the next five years and we need to stay at the forefront of those changes.

10 – What is your view on post Brexit Britain – positive, negative or indifferent and why?

You learn in life that there are certain things you cannot control, Brexit is one of them. Consequently, you have to focus on making the most of the emerging situation. The only way to do that is to remain totally positive, although the foolishness of politicians can present challenges!!

Pentaxia managing director, Stephen Ollier / Picture: Pentaxia


10 Questions With… is a regular feature where we put a variety of quick fire questions to manufacturing leaders and role models to get to know the people behind manufacturing success in the UK.

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