This article appeared in the Herald Newspaper on Monday 29 January 2024
Glasgow-born Jim Beveridge is the chief executive officer at ICR Group.
With its headquarters in Aberdeen, ICR is a global technology-focused provider of specialist maintenance, inspection and integrity solutions across multiple industrial sectors. The firm recorded a 20% rise in turnover for its latest financial year and it expects to exceed that figure this year.
ICR supports clients with their asset integrity challenges, reducing time and costs. It also has a ‘drones’ division, Sky-Futures, a worldwide leader in unmanned aircraft and remote sensing operations. This part of the business plays a key role in addressing issues related to emissions.
Demonstrating a robust commitment to sustainability, ICR employs pioneering techniques that significantly contribute to the net zero goals of its clients.
What is your business called?
Where is it based?
Aberdeen, Carnforth, Hemel Hempstead, Stavanger (Norway), Houston (USA), Abu Dhabi (Middle East), Perth (Australia). ICR has partnership agreements in 25 countries, where we train the local workforce to deliver engineering projects. This helps to reduce the carbon footprint.
What does it produce/do?
ICR specialises in cutting-edge maintenance, inspection and integrity solutions. We are playing our part in the transition to a lower carbon future across multiple industries and international markets.
For example, Technowrap provides life-long repairs that can be applied to internal, external and through-wall defects on complex geometries, while INSONO is an unique NDT (non-destructive testing) technique for the inspection of engineered composite repairs. The Technowrap repair system reduces emissions by 66% compared to the traditional replacement methods.
To whom does it sell?
Clients from a broad range of sectors count on ICR to support engineering projects. These include oil & gas, renewables, defence, nuclear, telecommunications, process industries, utilities and infrastructure and other markets.
What is its turnover?
Turnover for our 2022-23 year-end was £41.7m – a 20% increase on the previous financial year. The aim is to hit £50m in 2024 and I’m confident we will achieve this.
How many employees?
268. We’re looking to add to the team.
Why did you take the plunge?
The chance to create long-term sustainable jobs and to continue to grow a business across an international footprint was an extremely attractive proposition. The CEO role at ICR was an opportunity to put my own stamp on things, and lead from the front. I was previously with a global engineering and consulting business with more than 35,000 employees.
What were you doing before?
Senior vice-president, Asia Pacific Central at Wood plc. I enjoyed my 19 years with them. I joined ICR as CEO in April, 2022. It’s been an interesting career journey since growing up in Govan.
What do you least enjoy?
Jet lag. The novelty of long-distance travel wore off a long time ago!
What are your ambitions for the firm?
It’s vital we continue to be a sustainable business. We are diversifying into new sectors and continually looking at new opportunities. The aim is to create long-term jobs and significantly grow revenue and profitability year-on-year. As well as organic growth, we are also looking to expand through acquisitions.
What single thing would most help?
Continued product development is key. We must always be a forward-thinking company – one able to move with the times and not be reliant on one region, product or industrial sector. For example, we are working with Robert Gordon University on a number of innovative solutions.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned?
You can’t stand still in business, you need to keep looking to improve. As Albert Einstein said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’”
You’ve got to change it up. Also, I’m very appreciative of the people I worked beside when I started my apprenticeship on the Clyde with marine and mechanical engineering firm Hutsons.
Many of my colleagues were working class and extremely intelligent. They came from a generation where university wasn’t really an option. I’m always grateful for their time and advice. It was my university of life experience; one which led to me eventually going on to gain a degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Glasgow.
Where do you find yourself most at ease?
On the golf course or watching football with lifelong friends.
If you weren’t in your current role, what job would you most fancy?
I used to think being a chef would be good, but it looks like it would take a huge amount of effort to really do it to a high standard.
What phrase or quotation has inspired you the most?
“Everyone I pass on the way up I’m going to meet again on the way back down.” Treat everyone the way you would want to be treated yourself.
What is the best book you have ever read? Why is it the best?
Who moved my Cheese? It’s a business book by Dr Spencer Johnson. It’s a simple, short story that illustrates how people must embrace change and should adapt to new situations with an open mind and a motivated spirit.
What has been your most challenging moment in life or business?
In my previous role we had more than 1,000 workers that couldn’t leave a number of offshore installations in South East Asia due to a major Covid outbreak. There was a great deal of responsibility on myself and my colleagues to ensure we looked after the well-being of the team. The way everyone pulled together was a sight to behold and all worked out well in the end, but it was a huge logistical challenge. The health and safety of your team should always be your priority.
What do you now know that you wish you had known when starting out in your career?
Embracing failure as a learning opportunity; it’s an essential part of growth and innovation.
This article can be found online here – https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/24078257.university-life-stands-govan-raised-engineer-good-stead/