The qualities of a leader are numerous. From being open-minded to strong-headed, one needs to possess a long list of traits to be a great leader. In a corporate space, these traits take precedence over other matters. Mr. Paul H. Jones FRSC, the CEO of Bitrez, embodies these traits and leads by example to be ethical, honest, and have an open business culture. As a director, he is responsible for leading the organization and has a duty to make informed decisions and exercise reasonable care, skill, and diligence.
By remaining active in the business and leadership, Mr. Paul drives the strategy of 3 cutting edge businesses, ensuring financial security, and articulating a vision of regulatory compliance, green chemistry, and improved performance, delivering both health and environmental benefits by using his technical skills, management, and leadership. Through strategic review and cognitive research skills, he is involved in deciphering data from regulators that create opportunities in the market.
“While responsible for key decision making, I also involve the team while providing insight, influence, and guidance. Having worked through the ranks, my understanding of each function allows me to lead with clarity and consideration for the problems individuals/departments face. This awareness and depth of understanding enable clear communication of concise and digestible information,” Mr. Paul says.
Mr. Paul believes that progress is achieved through multidisciplinary collaboration, always focusing on the end goal. He encourages learning and education, both internally and externally, as he desires to see his employees evolve and achieve their full potential. “My door remains open to all, and I try to assist whenever I can. The unusual path I have taken and the resultant success from these endeavors confirm that with the right drive and determination, and maybe just a little luck, anyone can be successful,” he shares.
The Stepping Stones
As a young man, Mr. Paul was branded a natural leader, be it in the classroom or some sports event. But the same traits that he had were coupled with an inherent tendency to be slightly rebellious, which he feels contributed to him seeking out employment early in life. Fortunately, at the tender age of 17, he started working at the laboratory of a chemical plant and immediately realized his aptitude for the products, production, and all the associated systems. Demonstrating this propensity for chemistry and manufacturing coupled with having high energy, drive, and determination, he was quickly promoted through a series of positions in the business. Before reaching 20 years of age, he commanded the respect of the workforce and was made responsible for the site, and shortly after that became a director and shareholder.
His leadership and entrepreneurial nature supported Mr. Paul through global travel and the development of the business’s reputation, thus preparing the groundwork for future growth. In 2021, he was the recipient of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Chemical World Entrepreneur, for his confidence in his entrepreneurial approach to business and life. Mr. Paul’s initial business ownership started when he was given shares in place of significant financial offers from large multinational companies. “Through interfacing with the chemical subsidiaries of oil Companies, I was approached, receiving attractive offers to lure me into the oil sector. However, with a combination of strong loyalty, appreciation, and respect for my colleagues, coupled with a better the devil you know familiarity and the belief that the opportunities unfolding before me would lead to success, I elected to remain at Bitrez and became a shareholder,” he says.
As the company grew, Mr. Paul started creating different opportunities for innovation within the company. Within Bitrez, he developed the innovative ICHEME and Queens Award-winning products for the packaging sector. In 2012, they also set up Anacarda Limited, another Queens Award-winning business, as an offshoot that focuses on polymers from sustainable resources. This business utilizes the Bitrez manufacturing plant and is derived from some technology developed by Chemical Processing Services Ltd [CPS], a personal consultancy business used to house Patents and the IP he has generated. It also offers technical support, licensed deals, and specialist contract manufacturing arrangements.
Leading in Manufacturing
Bitrez is a specialist design, development, and manufacturing organization aiming to continue to innovate new materials and pioneer lower hazard polymers from sustainable feedstocks. “We have established ourselves as the UK’s leading specialty thermoset resin producer, and we export worldwide. Our vision is to take new technology to various regions to allow overseas domestic manufacture through licensing and contract manufacturing agreements,” shares Mr. Paul.
The company saw significant growth and ensured a steady income by aligning with market leaders. With a vision based on innovation, Mr. Paul wants to grow the business to greater heights. Through CPS, Mr. Paul patented some new chemistry for sustainable-based thermoset products. Following the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals [SDG’s], Bitrez has made provisions for materials with high Bio content, improved safety status, offers technical enhancements, and through an optional license arrangement, can be processed domestically to spread the wealth and minimize the transport carbon footprint, and reduce costs.
Bitrez is a sustainable, multi-million-pound business that has secured employment for over 100 people, of whom 75% are chemists, engineers, or technicians. For several years the company hovered with a turnover of around £25 Million before introducing a continuous 24/7 operation to increase capacity. The turnover in 2021 has increased by over 40% to just under £33 Million. In addition to the financial success, they have also received outstanding recognition, securing many awards and being introduced to numerous collaborative projects with esteemed research institutes. The Anacarda business has also proven immensely successful and was selected by the leading Marine Paint manufacturer to be utilized as the material of choice in their next-generation coating systems. This, in turn, has led to year-on-year growth and increasing return. Finally, the third business, CPS, was recognized as the start-up Company of the year in the ICHEME Global awards and has also seen excellent growth. With 3 Patents and more new technology being added, this business is expected to proliferate through license deals.
Bitrez Ltd maintains an enviable reputation for resolving technical issues and enhancing the performance of products so that they will last longer, go further or faster, withstand operation in adverse conditions, or meet problematic customer or market requirements. Thus, making them a unique player in the manufacturing industry. For almost 40 years, they have been formulating products and providing solutions that allow customers to create or enhance their product range. By constantly developing or improving products to meet increasingly demanding regulatory restrictions, Bitrez ltd maintains a sense of consciousness and consideration of existing threshold limits and takes steps to avoid product development that includes regrettable substitution. “We have strived to generate safer and cleaner products through our innovative approach, enhancing performance to ensure that our customers can maintain a competitive edge. We have supported market leaders with our specialty polymers through selective strategic alliances to ensure that they maintain this prominence. We look to increase commercial value through innovative solutions and provide products whose performance adds value,” shares Mr. Paul.
Bitrez Ltd understands the importance of the satisfaction of their customers. Through innovation and out-of-the-box thinking, Bitrez’s approach comes in many guises that include blue sky development of new products and improving existing products by cleaning them up on a structural basis. This allows customers to receive suitable material to continue their operations, differentiate from their competitors, and gain more significant market share or value.
Building a business can take a lot of time and patience, let alone resources, perseverance, and the will to keep pushing forwards. In Mr. Paul’s case, he decided to do this with 3 businesses, which stand at an incredibly successful level today. But he did have his stumbles. He says that constant care for the company put him under a lot of stress, which he gracefully handled and came out of. “I have faced adversity that has manifested itself in shortages of resource or material, financial burden, or cash flow or finding it difficult to achieve a specific requirement. My extensive travel around the globe was not without events, and I have been fortunate enough to have narrowly evaded injury being present during explosions or gunfire in either hotels or during transit with events in Macedonia, Russia, Indonesia, Africa, and Belgium, to name a few. While I may have been lucky, this caused distress for friends and family and is something I am now much more conscious of,” he shares.
Today, experienced people in place in all aspects of the target regions certainly help to reduce the workload. Mr. Paul believes that problems and adversities built character and subscribed to the belief that overcoming hardship and difficulty makes the final success more rewarding. “The measure of someone is surely their response in the face of adversity, not a success, and I know my team faces problems head-on, and through their guile and determination, they always find a way to succeed. My business has technical demands, and it goes without saying that there is a need for various skill sets. Business is about people, and I value loyalty above all else. I have been privileged enough to amass a team of specialists with outstanding character, and they form the core of the business,” says Mr. Paul.
Having been involved in all departments and historically being the author of many of Bitrez’s systems, Mr. Paul recalls his time as the Operations Director, obtaining BS 5750 and subsequent ISO 9001/14001/45001 certification standards for Quality, Safety, and the Environment. He was summoned to receive the British Safety Council Sword of honor and, with invitations, to Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and the Mayor’s Mansion, all featuring as very memorable occasions. “I feel privileged to have exceeded my aspirations and have been more successful than I may have hoped or expected to have been. I have my health, and I am comfortable, and I take great pride from having been able to provide for those closest to me,” he shares.
Currently, Bitrez Ltd works towards creating sustainable options in their services. They have been responsible for troubleshooting and resolving customer or market issues that come with technical demands, safety issues, and changes in legislation. Additionally, they are also working with providing products for specialist coatings serving the packaging food sector, marine, and industrial markets, and we produce Matrix systems for composite applications. “While we have established products derived from sustainable feedstocks, it is only more recently that these materials have gained an unprecedented level of traction as there is greater environmental concern and awareness from all quarters. Our products are not only derived from sustainable materials, but many are used in the manufacture of parts for equipment that is used to harvest clean energy, as well as systems for electricity transmission and distribution,” shares Mr. Paul.
The company is also working on licensing arrangements for products that aid the supply of materials that can help generate green energy or are utilized to manufacture lightweight composite parts to efficiently use this green energy. This includes systems used in the manufacture of electric vehicles or encapsulate, fix, and protect electronic components from their environment and provide insulation and mechanical performance to overcome stresses and cyclic fatigue.
For a Progressive Tomorrow
The chemical industry has played a big part in climate change, and with the Net Zero target in sight, there is a need to rectify the damage caused. While there is a global requirement to address Carbon neutrality, we need to stand together as innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders with a history of embracing a challenge. Bitrez Ltd continues to use disruptive chemistry to develop products to help mitigate climate change. This is but one of many requirements needed to satisfy the UN Sustainable Development Goals. While these goals are all-encompassing and provide a framework designed to address a global imbalance regarding social and economic discrimination, they encompass numerous targets to help protect our planet. Their plans include helping resolve these issues and providing a means to ensure carbon neutrality is a reality.
As an experienced person in the field and in leadership, Mr. Paul shares his thoughts for the future CEO of the world. “I believe we generally excel at what we enjoy doing, and I would advise any aspiring business leader to be focused on their core strengths and work hard. This is easier when young and comes with a note of caution as years pass by. The second part of the advice I would offer would be to try and recruit and develop a trustworthy team and empower them to express themselves. The fast-paced nature of our industry and the dynamics of today’s business require an understanding of the regulatory and geo-political landscape and current and future technology, all used to determine the innovative development required to stay ahead of your competition. This is not an easy task and takes time, effort, and a sprinkling of good fortune,” he concludes.