An Insight into local businessman Alan Cooper from Kent based DRAEAUK Ltd as he answers our Kent Entrepreneur Questions…
Company name DRAEAUK Ltd
Give us your business ‘elevator pitch’.
You don’t have to change your engine to do your bit to cut pollution (and save fuel). Do your bit with an Econokit.
How did you get started in business?
We saw that there was very little being done to cut engine pollution in terms of systems that could be fitted to existing engines and had an idea that water mist could help. We invented our own product but while doing a Patent search/due diligence we found that a product had just been developed and marketed in Europe called Econokit, after getting over our initial disappointment of not being the first to market we decided to turn this to our advantage and become the UK importer for Econokit.
If we asked your staff what you are like to work for, what would they say?
At this stage we have no staff but if Econokit takes off we could build a team of mobile installation engineers and trainers.
What was your biggest ever business challenge and how did you overcome it?
Our main challenge, which we have not really overcome, is the one of disbelief that you can introduce water mist into an engine to reduce pollution and also save fuel.
What do you see as your biggest success to date?
Having satisfied customers who once they have tried an Econokit want to keep it and many have bought more Econokits or transferred their Econokit to their next vehicle.
How many hours sleep do you get on an average night? 6
How has the recent recession affected your business?
Sales have dropped as people focus on buying just what they need as short term necessities and put off investing in the future or green technologies.
If you could offer a first-time entrepreneur only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Make sure you have done your market analysis and understand the supply chain options and don’t close out any options/opportunities even if they were not what you went into business for.
Looking back at your career, what’s one thing you would do differently?
Start my own business earlier, it is hard work but very rewarding.
How does being Kent-based benefit your business?
We hope being Kent based benefits our business because the products we sell fit to trucks and Kent is the gateway to Europe.
Where do you see yourself and your business five years from now?
Continuing to evolve into more new green technologies.
Which top three skills have made you a successful entrepreneur?
Imagination, inspiration and determination.
What has been your biggest failure, and what have you learnt from it?
Under estimating the effort required to bring a new product to market and the amount of scepticism in the marketplace for an unknown brand/product.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Stan Meyers (he made a car that ran on water).
What do you do in your non-work time?
Restoring a historic vehicle, inventing, Golf and Badminton.
Which entrepreneur do you admire the most and why?
No one in particular, they are inspirational regardless of their success, those that are successful have been fortunate to have good luck with timing.
Which business book has inspired you the most?
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
The moment when a customer is driving their vehicle for the first time after having an Econokit installed and they realise that they can feel the Econokit working.
How many hours do you work a day on average? 12
Anything else you want to tell us about?
We are keen to engage with Kent based transportation companies and are prepared to offer fleet owners a 30 day money back option to allow them to try Econokit without any long term financial commitment.