About Ian Wrigley
By Stephen Hill
As Media Manager for Enigin I guess I am responsible for PR so if anyone is going to write an article about our Technology Director and founding director that’s being posted on the interweb is should be me…
Well, what can I say about Ian – to provide an initial summary of my friend I would say he is enthusiastic, fun, witty, adventurous, unpretentious, inspirational and decisive, a decent bloke.
What, I can hear your thoughts whirring away asking: “Is this guy perfect?” Far from it, he is driven and ambitious, which some would point to as a fault, he is at times difficult to tie down. It can be like herding cats as he goes pell-mell into a new project. He needs to remember at times that he has sped ahead of those around him and he needs to pull on those reigns and let others catch up.
He was born in July 1955, making him older than myself, by a couple months and it shows, and has rightly been described as a serial entrepreneur and inventor.
He has become well known for his innovations within the Energy Saving Business; and currently spends most of his working week is spent hands-on as Technology Director of Enigin Plc. His success as a businessman has been recognised as he has been listed in the 2008 “Who’s Who” of Britain’s most successful business owners, making me feel very proud for him and of him. The lad’s done well.
I didn’t know Ian in 1982 but I know what he was doing – he started his own business from scratch as a distributor for energy saving products in the North of England, long before terms like ‘Climate Change’ and Carbon Footprint’ were even in the dictionary. So, he’s been around this industry longer than most.
Those first steps in energy management and the energy saving business led Ian to where he is today. Following on his early success he jointly developed the FuelBoss electronic building-management system, alongside the late Colin Rowe who also introduced him to the world of intelligent motor control.
Through the work at NASA the principle of controlled voltage and improving Power Factor as a means of saving energy was now irrefutably proven, so Ian and his team developed a world-first – a truly intelligent fixed speed dynamic controller under the Electromiser trade mark. This collaboration led to the formation of Somar Environmental Systems Ltd In 1992 – I told you he was driven and ambitious.
Somar were to manufacture and distribute the Electromiser to the global market but under the trade-mark of PowerBoss – (FuelBoss, PowerBoss? I think he has a complex!). More success followed and PowerBoss has been successfully sold in over 70 countries. This all lead to Somar winning several International innovation awards, including the 2004 Queens Award for International Trade. To sum up Ian, he didn’t go to collect the award from Her Royal Highness, he sent members of the team who helped develop the products, like I said unpretentious.
Ian could see a gaping hole in the energy saving business and he saw how to fill it. He soon realised the solution did not fit in with the success he had developed at Somar, so in 2006 he divested his interest in Somar, and focused on the EnergyMaps solution and Enigin Plc. To keep the record straight – Somar and Enigin are completely independent companies. They are not commercially or legally linked and all their products are distinct. The only relevant connection being…that Ian started them both.
Ian, as no stranger to business success, again saw his experience and drive lead Enigin to profit within their first year and since they have continued to become ever more profitable and influential in the energy saving business, although he will readily attribute most of the success to the people around him.
My background is not in the energy saving business but I recognise success when I see it, and success is Ian’s middle name, well it is better than his real middle name – Bramwell!
I knew Ian before I started working with him professionally and I liked the guy. I didn’t know he was such a success, he didn’t brag or strut around like he was something special. I have known many very successful businessmen and entrepreneurs and I have to admit that most of them are obnoxious individuals, to say the least. Ian is far from that. He is a good friend, genuine and honest, a pleasure to know and is also a pleasure and an inspiration to work with.
As I started getting more and more involved in the launch of Enigin, from a multi-media side, I became ever more aware of what a great ethos the Enigin Team had, how successful Ian had been in the past and I was assured of the success he would continue to have. I wanted a piece of the action. Hence, here I am now sat at a desk in the Enigin offices working in this dynamic company, alongside the best management team in the energy saving business.
In life you meet individuals that spark your humour, intellectual abilities, attune to you and help you realise what you can do – Ian is such a person. Why is Ian, as a successful entrepreneur, still such a “nice guy”? The answer is simple – family. Ian’s wife Polly keeps his feet on the ground, although I think she would admit at times it is a struggle to direct his focus away from work. His children Troy, Lana and Phoebe have over the years kept his focus on the more important things in life – which again breaks the mould of the average successful business person and I guess that’s it, he isn’t the “average” business person.