Meet the MD: Marcus Brew of Untha UK

Meet the MD: Marcus Brew of Untha UK

Marcus Brew has always enjoyed meeting other business owners and directors, and is motivated by how others manage the challenges of owning a business. He uses this as inspiration for how works as MD of Untha UK. He caught up with BQ to tell us more...

Describe your role in no more than 100 words.

I’m responsible for nurturing the performance of our multifaceted team, not least our business development managers – each an expert in their respective waste and recycling fields. We have ambitious growth targets so there’s a real focus on meeting and exceeding KPIs to build a successful and sustainable organisation.

We don’t just provide tailored shredding technology – we’re renowned for our customer service too. This means I’m constantly looking to improve how we sell, deliver and support our solutions in a cost effect and efficient manner. This helps us attract new business, and maximises the value and profits that existing clients can achieve.


What is it the company does?

UNTHA is a global, Austrian-owned brand supplying industrial shredding equipment, parts and servicing, to the waste, recycling, waste to energy and other environmental markets. Over the last 40 years, the group has designed and developed more than 9,000 shredders for a variety of complex applications worldwide.


Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

I’ve been selling large capital equipment for over 25 years, which has seen me get involved with multi-million pound blue-chip engineering projects throughout the UK and overseas. Having started out selling machine tools I’ve worked in diverse sectors including automotive and aerospace, before entering the environmental sector with UNTHA seven years ago. I’ve also run my own businesses in between, so have a varied skill set encompassing the majority of business functions. For the last two years I have been UNTHA UK’s sales director which gave me the perfect springboard to the role of MD.


What do you believe makes a great leader?

I truly believe that every self-made person will have a driven and successful team behind them. A good team is therefore as important as I am. I give direction but let people do the job they’re employed them to do. Both the business and its employees benefit from this autonomy, as it projects a clear message that they are valued and make a real contribution to everyone’s success.


What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

We have experienced rapid, sustained growth over the last five years which has naturally brought its own challenges. Ensuring that we have the staff and resources to deal with fast-paced expansion is an ongoing struggle, for example, as people with appropriate technical skill, a hunger to learn and an unswerving commitment to customer service, are often hard to find.


How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

By getting a good night’s sleep. I can work until late at night but once I close my laptop, I’ve learned to switch off my diverting my mind. I’ll read a book, listen to some music or watch TV – anything that moves me away from the business in hand. Understanding that night-time deliberations have little impact on the next day’s work, makes this easier to implement.


When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A doctor, but in my teens I realised that I wouldn’t be able to work in a hospital or office on a day to day basis. I love meeting other business owners or directors, and understanding how they manage the challenges of their own organisations. My jobs have always allowed me to do this, which has kept me motivated through my career.


Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?

Procrastination. Everyone wants to do the easier task but if too many people take this attitude it can spell disaster. Managers and directors therefore need to find ways to simplify more complex or challenging exercises, within reason, to overcome the risk of stalling. This could be as straightforward as ensuring people have the correct datainformation through all stages of the business process, which naturally means a difficult task becomes an easier one. Unfortunately, however, some tasks are just hard.


Where do you see the company in five years’ time?

We’ve already started to cultivate a real brand identity in a crowded yet highly complex marketplace. I would hope that in five years’ time, the business will have a really distinct position, with its sights firmly set on even greater success in the five years after that.


What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

‘You will fail but embrace this as well as your success’.

Everyone makes mistakes and, in business, they can have a major impact on yourself as well as others. However, identifying where and why you went wrong, and how you can improve, will ensure you become a fantastic business leader.