With three decades in the industry under his belt, when he is not at work, you will no doubt find Paramount managing director, Steve Martin on the golf course…
WHAT WAS YOUR INTRODUCTION TO THE POOL INDUSTRY?
My father, Keith Martin, initially set up Paramount at home in 1979 so I was introduced to the business at an early age. I joined the company when I was 18 in 1988.
HOW HAS THE INDUSTRY CHANGED?
Having seen three decades there has been a plethra of changes! Most notably, the introduction of the Internet has had the most dramatic effect and sadly, in many ways to the industry’s detriment. In my opinion the value of the pool dealer was compromised within a few years. The flipside to this however, is product awareness has extended to a wider audience.
WHICH HAVE BEEN THE LANDMARK MOMENTS IN YOUR CAREER?
Adapting a US product, namely our Aquamatic Safety cover, to suit the UK market and the introduction of a lowcost heat pump and more recently… LED lights and our new Tilestone one
WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST DAILY CHALLENGES?
I am very lucky to have a small team of dedicated staff members who keep challenges to a bare minimum!
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FACING THE POOL INDUSTRY?
Low margins. This industry sometimes has a self-destruct button in my opinion.It is too fixated in obtaining a sale or contract at any cost without regard for retaining suitable profit margins.
HOW DO YOU SEE THE POOL MARKET EVOLVING BOTH SHORT AND LONG TERM?
Sadly, we have seen a huge demise in the above ground and liner pool build market and one can only hope this re-invents itself. At the other end of the scale, pool dealers and end users are now engaging in technology to produce virtual reality films, CGI images, control functions for lighting heating and so forth.
WHAT DO YOU LISTEN TO ON YOUR WAY TO AND FROM WORK?
Radio 5 Live, Talk Sport
WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF WORK ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED AND FROM WHOM?
From an early age, my father drilled into me the value of margins hence my favourite quote ‘Turnover’s vanity, profits sanity!’
IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO INVITE THREE SPECIAL GUESTS TO A DINNER PARTY – WHO WOULD THEY BE?
As a golfing nut, Rory McIlroy would have to be there along with comedian Mickey Flanigan for few laughs and James Morrison for the music.
HOW DO YOU MOST LIKE TO SPEND YOUR TIME OUT OF WORK?
Family aside, golf, badminton and copious amounts of alcohol!
DO YOU HAVE A CLAIM TO FAME YOU CAN SHARE?
I have appeared on a golf advert promoting Wilson balls. There was no script, totally ad-libbed and was beamed worldwide. I managed to get the word ‘Paramount’ within the dialogue too! You can catch it on YouTube!