Anand Puthran is the man who bought a business that wasn’t for sale.

The CEO of McMenon Engineering Services is celebrating two years at the helm of the Workington firm, which by rights should still be an outpost of global firm ABB.

It makes temperature and flow measurement systems for firms across the world.

The Salterbeck Industrial Estate-based company is only in private hands because Anand asked.

“The first time I called, they laughed and put the phone down. The second time, they laughed and put the phone down. The third time, they said ‘hold on, you need to talk to this person,” he says, “and the rest is history.”

It wasn’t a random request. Anand had previously worked as general manager of the plant for a year in 2013.

He always had a plan to develop his career, but the death of his father – who had always inspired him – made him re-evaluate and he returned to Aberdeen, where he had been at university, and a new job.

But he says he could always see the ABB plant’s potential as an SME, which made him pick up the phone.

“I spoke to the right people and had to present a business case, which they accepted.”

He’s being low-key. The business plan not only successfully brought ABB’s mergers and acquisitions team from its headquarters in Switzerland to the table for a discussion on the sale of this division but also convinced them that facility under Anand’s leadership would also be ideally positioned to continue providing ABB with all products manufactured in that facility under a badging arrangement.

It took 15 months and a lot of the negotiations were done in confidence. But the McMenon team walked out with a new business and a global client.

Two years on, and the firm is going from strength-to-strength. As it says, manufacturing is in its DNA.

Before it was ABB, the site was Fischer & Porter. It has a 70-year legacy of manufacturing.

It already exports across the globe, has a base in Saudi Arabia and is looking to diversify its product range. But Anand doesn’t want to sit still.

McMenon’s markets include oil and gas, nuclear, aerospace, renewables, automotive, defence, food and beverage.

Last year alone, it made more than 30,000 products.

Anand says: “We’re an ambitious company. We are punching about our weight. We want to continue to invest in the business.” Anand pauses. “And I’m always on the lookout for acquisitions.”

Anand – a finalist in the Best Businessperson of the Year category at the in-Cumbria Business Awards – is McMenon’s figurehead, but he did not embark on the venture alone.

His partners and fellow shareholders are Shiv Nair and Shiby Bernard.

Shiby is chief operations officer at McMenon, sits on the board, and Anand happens to be her husband.

Thanks to her, McMenon implemented a new staff system in four months, when its usual implementation period is around a year-and-a-half.

Family is important to the couple. Shiby says: “When we bought the business, Anand said ‘our family has grown. We are now responsible for 60 people and their families and their futures.’