Feature: Across the generations

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Founded by shipping clerk Herbert Falder and Harry Marcel Guest (hence HMG), as a bottle capping solution to seal over corks in October 1930, HMG has grown to become the UK’s largest independent paint manufacturer.

HMG, the industrial and commercial manufacturer, has stayed true to its Collyhurst roots, with today’s site only 200 yards from the original premises. It offers innovative and compliant paints and powder coatings to a variety of markets, all backed up with outstanding technical support and customer service. 
For this, HMG has accepted numerous awards such as the UK Coatings Care award and were the first independent UK paint company to be awarded British Standards quality BS5750 (FM1524). HMG’s Head office and primary manufacturing plant is based in Manchester, UK. 
Specialising in bespoke product development and manufacturing, the company has a large product portfolio including wet paint, powder coatings and aerosols. It employs specialists in all areas of pre-treatment, equipment and application of surface coating products. 
HMG says it is proud to work alongside its customers, with its customer’s business being extremely important to HMG. Putting the customer first, ever since the very early days of producing bottle capping solution, has built them an impeccable reputation locally, nationally and internationally. The company supply market leading products into a number of market sectors, notably Commercial Transport, OEM, Industrial, Bus & Coach, Civil Engineering & Construction, Light Industry, Model & Hobby trade and Speciality Automotive Finishes. It has an excellent record of support and service, demonstrated by long term uninterrupted partnerships.
Fourth generation
HMG takes pride in strong family values, and that is shown in the atmosphere across the company. With fathers, sons, daughters and nieces working side by side, the family-driven firm has an average length of service of 16.4 years, making for a very loyal, skilled and local workforce.
The company continues to create unique relationships with worldwide technical and manufacturing partnerships and continue to be proud of its culture, team and community responsibilities exemplified by being one of the first to sign up to the Government Skills Pledge. From partnering with Aston Martin Racing, creating paint for Jodrell Bank, to a coating for one of the grisly monster heads in the iconic horror film, Alien, they have a solution for every occasion.
Now led by the fourth generation of Falders, John’s son Jonathan, aged 28, is a senior technician at the coatings manufacturer. “We already have three generations of the Falder family within the business,” says John Falder, HMG Paints Managing Director. However, he is keen to point out; “No one ever has or ever will be forced to enter the family business. That has never been the approach and in our view never should be. A family business creates opportunities and the diversity that the coatings industry provides gives a widespread of potential opportunities. Family businesses must always be meritocracy’s with family members operating at the right level in line with that.”
Key projects
With HMG’s pride comes responsibility and a genuine care. Customers of HMG can expect that it will be satisfied with nothing less than excellence and that it will work with its customers to achieve this. This attitude has seen the company involved with numerous high profile projects. One of these is with Aston Martin Racing, which in its iconic Stirling Green livery developed by HMG Paints, recently took victory at the 85th Le Mans race, after Jonny Adam (GB) took the GTE Pro lead on the final lap of the historical endurance race. In their 4th year of partnership, technical partners HMG Paints, who produced the V8 Vantage Stirling Green livery, are ecstatic for the team “Working with Aston Martin Racing has been an absolute pleasure over the last few years, and above all else it is fantastic to be involved in what is a fantastic atmosphere surrounding races, especially after winning this prestigious title” said John Falder.
The 2016 V8 Vantage GTE’s new design and Stirling Green livery made its debut at The Prologue, the official WEC test session at Circuit Paul Ricard in France on the 25th of March last year, and will now be remembered as an icon to this year’s outstanding win at Le Mans 24 hours. HMG Paints utilised its extensive lab facilities, high-spec development equipment and team of experienced colour specialists to produce the colour alongside a plethora of bespoke, high performance motorsport coatings. 
Flying Scotsman
Another high profile example of HMG working closely with another company to provide a highly developed and close technical partnership was when it worked with Craftmaster on the Flying Scotsman.
The locomotive’s paint system, from primer and high build undercoat to classic coach enamel, resulted from a highly developed and close technical partnership between Craftmaster and HMG.
The world’s most famous locomotive is now back on track in its iconic British Rail green livery thanks to the industry renowned products and colour library of authentic historic shades of Craftmaster Paints of Cambridge.
The future
When asked where he sees the company in ten year’s time, John Falder replied; “Operating with the strongest possible cultural underpinnings and achieving what we deserve in line with the job that we do for our customers. We would aim to grow organically. Growth is just a by-product from doing a good job.”
With smaller companies (and larger in the case of Akzo Nobel) being actively pursued for takeover, John doesn’t believe it will be difficult for the company to maintain its independent status. “HMG have a role and a place within the coatings industry overall. Selling the business is not on our radar.”
When asked what it what it was like being family firm in a world of multinationals, he responded; “The multinationals do an outstanding job. We are the delicatessen counter of the coatings industry. HMG operate in technically complex and physically demanding business areas. The level of agility\nimbleness of SME businesses is something that the multinationals should not try and emulate. No business can be all things to all men. HMG are firm believers in cooperation rather than competition, and we believe engagement with multinationals represents opportunities for both parties.”
Key Personnel
Every member of HMG Paints team is the key to the company’s success, and it’s their passion for paint which makes the company what it is today.
Brian Falder, Chairman
Brian has been Chairman of HMG Paints Ltd since 1992 and has worked continuously for the company since 1945.
The son of the founder of HMG Paints Ltd, Mr H. J. Falder, Brian oversaw the company’s development and rapid progression through his four decade tenure and direction.
Brian completed a DMS at Manchester Business School in 1967 and is a Manchester University Main Board Governor.
John Falder, Managing Director
John has been Managing Director since 1992 and has worked within HMG since 1976.
A graduate in chemistry and marine biology from Bangor University and a Licentiate from the Royal Institute of Chemistry, John is President of the British Coatings Federation and Chairman of the Vehicle Refinish Group and the Industrial Coatings Council of the BCF (British Coatings Federation).
John is also a local authority (Manchester) School Governor and Chairman of the School Finance Group.
Stephen Falder, Marketing Director
Stephen has been a full board director at HMG Paints Ltd since 1990.
A graduate in Chemistry from Kings College London, Stephen was also a founder of Byotrol Ltd & Bradite Paints Ltd.
Stephen is Chairman of Proskills UK, (the industry sector skills council) a leading exponent of training and personal development within the coatings industry.

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