6:01 AM 11th October 2021
10 In 10: Andrew Hemingway ITW ROCOL
Andrew Hemingway is the Commercial Director at ITW ROCOL,
whose headquarters are in Leeds, are a market leader in the manufacture of high-performance lubricants for some of the most challenging operations and applications in industry. Andrew spent nine years in the USA and four years in Germany working in commercial, sales and marketing roles before returning to the UK in 2015.
What does a typical working day for you involve?
The beauty of my role is that it is rare any two days are the same, even if the current climate dictates that most of my work is conducted remotely. A typical day would include conducting reviews with our distribution partners from across Europe and working with the marketing team on our customer experience drive we are currently undertaking. I’ll also spend time in meetings to discuss new product developments with colleagues. The Senior Leadership Team meet regularly to work on key strategic and operational issues around the business.
With responsibility for managing the commercial operations at five locations across Europe, I’m fortunate to have such diversity in my role.
What makes your company special?
Without a doubt, it’s the ROCOL corporate identity. Even though ROCOL is part of ITW, a Fortune 200 global manufacturing leader, it has retained its strong Yorkshire identity that genuinely reflects ITW’s culture.
The people at ROCOL are instrumental in forming that identity and, from I’ve witnessed so far, I am fortunate to work alongside genuine, down-to-earth, friendly people who are extremely talented at what they do.
Do you have any business rules that you swear by?
"Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill.
Although not a business rule as such, it is a quote that has always held a strong meaning for me and is something I try to refer to quite often. I am by nature a “Striver” and with that I often struggle to enjoy success and tend to be quite hard on myself when things don’t go to plan. Reflecting on statements such as this, and putting things into perspective, is for me an effective way to deal with the day-to-day challenges we face in business.
Do you dress up or down for work?
My preferences have changed in recent years and today I’m more inclined to dress down. I have vivid memories from working abroad of navigating public transportation between meetings in Tokyo on an incredibly hot and humid day, and consequently in places like Dhaka, Mumbai, Ho Chi Minh City, and feeling incredibly uncomfortable wearing suits or more formal business wear.
These days I prefer business casual and my wardrobe is designed around office and travel but using performance fabrics for added comfort whatever the climate.
What piece of advice would you give your 18-year old self?
Don’t be so hard on yourself and try to live in the moment.
What’s your favourite Yorkshire venue for an event or team away day?
One of my favourite venues is the Piece Hall in Halifax. Having grown up in Halifax and spent a lot of time in the Piece Hall as a child with my parents and grand-parents, I was delighted when I heard that it was undergoing a significant conservation and transformation programme and I think the results are stunning. To see a concert or have dinner outside in the middle of a Grade I listed building with over 250 years of history and heritage is a pretty amazing experience.
How do you prefer to travel for business?
I have spent most of my career traveling by air and I think this would be my preferred means of travel for business. Although the whole airport experience can be stressful, and I have had my fair share of nightmare experiences, I have found ways to mimise this and make the most of the travel experience. I have to admit that I’m still fascinated by flying and seeing new places even now!
What’s your favourite place in Yorkshire to relax?
The countryside and rolling hills around Ripponden and Rishworth. After spending long periods living and working away from home in large, bustling cities, nothing quite beats the peace and serenity of a walk in the countryside with the stunning views and pure calm.
Where is your favourite place to eat in Yorkshire, and what dish do you recommend?
There are so many but I would probably opt for El Gato Negro in Leeds. The original restaurant was actually opened a 5-minute walk from my home and started off as a small restaurant in a former pub offering Spanish tapas created by Yorkshire chefs. The restaurant went on to achieve great acclaim and unfortunately left the village but has since established restaurants in Leeds, Manchester, and Liverpool. All the restaurants are in stunning locations and the food and wines are to die for! Impossible to pick a favourite dish but tenderstem broccoli with spicy harissa dressing, chickpeas in harissa tomato sauce and caramelised cauliflower florets and patatas bravas with tomato fritarda sauce and aioli would be up there.
What do you miss most about Yorkshire when you’re away?
Fish and chips! Having spent more than 12 years living outside the UK, you quickly realise that finding authentic fish and chips internationally is impossible and just how terrible some of the attempts at creating them are. Trips back to Yorkshire always involved takeaway fish and chips with my parents on the first Friday back in the UK and nothing ever tasted better and more like home!