A commitment to growth through diversification, diversity and sheer hard work makes Anand Puthran a deserved winner of this year’s Business Person of the Year award.

Anand doggedly persuaded multinational giants ABB to sell McMenon Engineering Services to his start-up company four years ago – a phenomenal achievement considering it was his first acquisition.

Since then his ambitious growth strategy has featured a significant global footprint, investment in facilities, certifications, new products and new divisions.

McMenon is now an export superstar, with over 85 per cent of the around 15,000 products manufactured annually in its Workington facility exported to more than 50 countries.

He has recognised the need to reduce the firm’s reliance on clients in the oil and gas sector and his vision for future success is based on growth by diversification particularly into clean energy sectors of water, nuclear and wind.

This year McMenon was selected from over 150 UK firms to be among a handful of key delivery partners appointed via the Sellafield Programme and Project Partners (PPP) framework to deliver a fabricated and manufactured equipment package, agreed for an initial three years and worth up to £20m.

Anand is very passionate about inclusion and diversity across the board and he is a huge advocate of getting more women into the engineering profession.

As a result he came up with the idea of McMenon hosting its own Girls in Engineering Day at the Workington factory where female students from three local secondary schools took part in a day of events and information designed to encourage them into a career in engineering.

This has been backed up by a programme of visits to schools in West Cumbria for World of Work days and mock interviews to continue to create a presence in the local community.

The judges praised Anand and his vision for the business saying: “McMenon is a huge success story, with values and authenticity at the heart of everything he does. At McMenon. diversification, diversity growth and future proofing ensures a secure outlook for the business. But no complacency, Anand is always thinking of the next big thing!”

After receiving the award from Rachael Bell, Anand thanked his team at McMenon, particularly his wife Shiby and also colleague John Edmondson. He said: “If you do not have the people behind you it does not happen. There are lots of great business leaders so to be shortlisted was very fulfilling. Thank you very much for the award and congratulations to the other finalists, when I saw their names I did not think I would win!”

Runners up:

Sarah Purdham, Prima Uno

Caroline Howsley, Cumbria Deaf Association