- Sector: Manufacturing
- Country: Ireland
Wear and care
Established in 1904, Portwest is a global manufacturer and distributor of workwear and safetywear. With over 3,000 employees worldwide, its team of award-winning designers specialise in flame-resistant and high-visibility workwear, hand and foot protection, personal protective equipment (PPE) and wearable technology.
“We are one of the fastest growing workwear companies in Europe, with an international distribution network and customer service staff in over 130 countries,” says CEO Harry Hughes. “We are a family business. Portwest is owned and managed by the third generation of the Hughes family.”
Harry believes that a clearly defined and ambitious strategy is behind Portwest’s success, a strategy that’s seen it grow 700 fold since Harry and his brothers, Cathal and Owen, joined the family business in 1978.
Supporting this continuous growth is a tight-knit, highly-experienced management team and a culture of life-long learning. “Many team members have progressed up the ranks in the company and now hold management roles, thanks to education and the chance to learn from experience,” says Harry, who was given EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 award.
The business has experienced major changes in recent years, including the ambitious decision to move production from China to Bangladesh and Myanmar. The risk paid off: Portwest has already opened to open two more factories.
Today, the team is set on continuing this pace of growth. “The entire team is committed to the company’s plan for growth,” adds Harry.
“A mission to sell the best product at the best prices, delivered with passion, belief and a smile is the common philosophy at Portwest.”
As for new entrepreneurs starting out, Harry’s advice is straight to the point: “Keep it simple and do it now.”