Caption: Managing Director of Hydro Group plc in Korea, Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and Shin Young Industries.
copyright@Hydro Group plc.
Aberdeen and surrounding area is an incredibly successful economic region, with people being attracted to the area from home and abroad due to the wide range of career opportunities. Valentina Colón works in business development for Aberdeen-based Hydro Group. She studied international business at Stirling University after moving from her home country of Venezuela. Valentina was first introduced to Hydro by a British Council initiative which places international professionals with Scottish companies.
She said "Hydro Group has a really diverse workforce made up of people of different ages and nationalities. In my opinion diversity is incredibly positive for a company as it not only helps with global trade but also helps staff morale and retention.
"Aberdeen has a large international community and I believe the industries that develop here move at a fast pace and are up to speed with latest technological advances - all of these factors are very attractive to people worldwide."
Aberdeen has attractive statistics in terms of business success, with 23 of Scotland's top 100 companies being headquartered here.
Valentina added: "I was surprised by the low, nearly non-existent unemployment rate in Aberdeen. However, when studying in Stirling I wasn't aware of the career opportunities.
Clydesdale partner rates Aberdeen group as attractive proposition.
Hydro Group of Aberdeen announced £4 million of financial backing yesterday from Clydesdale bank to develop new facilities. The global provider of optical and electrical products for subsea technology industry will use the loan to build research, design, and engineering facilities at Aberdeen Science and Energy Park.
Hydro Group managing director Douglas Whyte said: “Being granted the funding by Clydesdale Bank means the company can move ahead with exciting growth plans to create the facilities at the new Bridge of Don site.
“The objective is to produce a facility that will enhance, improve and develop new products for the renewable, deep water and subsea sectors; with the whole Hydro Group team being integral in the planning, design and development of the new premises”.
Charlie Henderson, Clydesdale’s partner for business banking added: “Hydro Group has a record of innovation, client satisfaction and staff involvement. This combined with its plans for new facilities and growth potential, makes it an attractive investment proposition”
Hydro Group which was founded in 1982, now has 70 staff and annual turnover of more than £5million.
20 years ago Hydrocable Systems started manufacturing cables in a new factory in Arbroath!
It was extremely difficult to find staff and the company struggled for over 2 years to fill vacancies. Eventually we gave up and moved "lock stock and barrel" up to Aberdeen, where it resides today next door to Hydro Bond. No-one from the original workforce remains here apart from Irene and, of course, myself.
A hard lesson in Location, Location, Location!
Cake and champagne helped to celebrate our 20 years of Excellence at London's Oceanology exhibition in March. A few of our customers are pictured with Rob, Pauline, Valentina and Bruno.
Many thanks to all of our staff who have helped arrive at this milestone and also to the many Customers who buy our cable again and again!
Aberdeen based Hydro Group said yesterday it had landed two major contact wins worth a six-figure sum. The global provider of optical and electrical products in the subsea technology industry has won the work with international diving technology company Divex. Hydro Group is to provide pressure-hull penetrators to be used on diver decompression chambers and submersible diving chambers.
Hydro Group Managing Director Douglas Whyte said : “This is a significant contract win for Hydro Group and it shows how two Aberdeen companies working together using local expertise can be successful in the competitive offshore oil and gas and defence submarine industries.” Divex’s operations general manager, Glyn Gilbert, said: “Hydro Group has an outstanding performance and safety record; we were further encouraged to work with them as their pressure-hull penetrators are tested and certified by DNV.
Hydro Group, comprised of Hydrobond Engineering and Hydrocable Systems, is an Aberdeen-based specialist manufacturer of electrical cables, connectors and penetrators for subsea, topside and onshore applications. Through the combined strength of its integrated business units the Hydro Group offers a unique service and provides innovative solutions for blue chip clients worldwide.
Hydrobond Engineering was established in 1982 and has developed substantial expertise in the design and manufacture of electrical and optical connector systems for demanding subsea applications.
Having identified an opportunity to differentiate, in 1988 Hydro Group was formed with the introduction of Hydrocable Systems, which complemented the original business stream with the design and manufacture of a range of cables with the superior abrasion resistance, flexibility and reliability for use underwater and in harsh environments.
Hydro Group has established a diverse customer base across defence, oil and gas, renewable energy, and marine sciences with MoD and defence related business accounting for over 40% of turnover. The company has earned a solid reputation with defence markets in the UK, US, Japan, Singapore and Australia.
Total exports for last year were 42% of turnover, and projected at 45 to 50% for this year and the Hydro Group is continually expanding its international business - inroads have been made into Italy for example, where the company attended three exhibitions this year. A culturally diverse workforce has also strengthened the ability of the whole team to deal with international business.
Much of Hydro Group's internationalisation strategy is focused on defence markets, though oil and gas is also a steadily growing market. The company is also developing its interest in aerospace, currently working with a Korean company on aerostats, a balloon platform for surveillance, and has already supplied one system with others at the development stage.
Hydro Group offers several key selling points that allow it to stand out in its chosen markets.
Said Managing Director Douglas Whyte: "We design and manufacture cables and connectors and offer bespoke assembly systems - the competition tends to focus on one aspect or the other.
"As an SME we have flexibility and agility, and unlike larger companies can easily adapt, especially in our ability to customise standard products to meet requirements."
Hydro Group also gains strength from the way it incorporates business partners; agents effectively become partners, perceived as an extension of the team, and are involved in business planning sessions in Scotland and supported at local level in terms of technical support and at exhibitions. The value of this approach is reflected in the level of growth in export sales.
An ongoing commitment to R&D is also of strategic importance to Hydro Group, which maintains associations with several universities and research centres around the UK. Innovation comes through development of products, processes and the use of advanced proprietary materials, finding solutions to emerging technical problems in target markets.
The workforce is also key to Hydro Group's success. A team of 75 across the two divisions provide the skills and experience to drive the company forward, and as an Investors in People accredited company the Hydro Group values its motivated and committed workforce.
"Our team is very important, they offer a great deal of knowledge and experience and for our part we must create the kind of working environment that will help us to attract and retain staff, to make our team feel that their contribution is valued and that we take their future seriously. It's not just money that keeps people happy, though that is part of it; we are involved in a lot of training and support of individuals particularly in further education, we also look at different areas for socialising, and one of the most successful changes we have brought in is organising the working week to finish at 1pm on Fridays.
"We are always striving to be more competitive, slicker and more efficient and part of that is ensuring we have the right people on our team. These days that means a modern approach to the working environment and that has meant a lot of changes, but I find that change becomes easier once you gain momentum."
Hydro Group is currently in negotiations to procure land on a greenfield site for a purpose built factory, a bespoke facility that would allow the company to create the ideal environment both to underline the value placed on the workforce and to accommodate a growing business. Douglas Whyte has ambitious plans for the Hydro Group in its new setting:
"Our goal is to double turnover within a three year period after we settle in to the new facility, the majority of that growth coming from export and internationalisation."