He’s worked for major firms in California, the Czech Republic and Germany, but Genista Energy managing director Graham Hall knew he wanted to set up his own business in Kirriemuir.
Genista Energy designs and installs ready-configured and custom battery systems for renewable energy applications.
It aims to help global clients become greener and more energy-efficient, ultimately reducing operating costs.
Why did you start in business?
Having worked in several large multi-national companies I knew the time was right for a change; I wanted to try something new. So, I put what I learned over the years into creating something which makes a difference to the world we live in – and that’s when Genista Energy was born.
How did you get to where you are?
It all started at Strathclyde University before working with a mix of companies in different locations around the world including – California, Czech Republic, Germany, before returning to Angus to start Genista Energy.
Who has helped you along the way?
I have been lucky enough to work with some great managers who helped me on my international journey. Closer to home, I have had immense support from Elevator and the team at Business Gateway to help broaden our local business network. Additionally, they have pinpointed key services offered by various organisations and teams which are essential for any new business.
What has been your biggest mistake?
Not giving enough priority to taking a step back and reflecting on situations and events. Also, taking too long to take matters into my own hands when business situations became frustrating and bureaucratic.
What has been your greatest achievement?
Being managing director for a two-billion-dollar IT business in California was a huge task with responsibility for 700 employees, but the experience prepared me for running another organisation with about 10,000 users across Europe. Although, learning to speak Czech is up there too!
How has the business been impacted by coronavirus?
On the negative side, it has slowed and delayed new energy storage projects and installations due to not only restrictions on individual workers, but also business uncertainty for some of our clients.
On the positive side, it has allowed us time to plan and prepare for the future and consider important factors for people, communities and the environment we live in.
What are your hopes for the future?
I hope that the pandemic has been a wake-up call for society, making people realise that we rely on each other and our environment.
I hope we see greater co-operation in protecting the environment for future generations.
Hopefully, we will see a move to more sustainable energy resources being used locally and internationally.
Are you hoping to recruit in future?
Yes, I think the sustainable energy business has a large scope for growth for many businesses and companies. I am hopeful that Genista Energy Limited is in a position to offer new employment – especially for people here in Tayside.
What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
Everything! Being a start-up in particular, you are responsible for everything, so you spend more time on tasks that you may be less familiar with. The positive side is you are continually learning new skills.
Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Keep being creative. Society is changing all the time, take time to reflect and be confident in what you are doing.