Stepping into a key leadership role is weighted with responsibility when the goal is to take an established, successful business even further forward — and Jonathan Groves, great-grandson of the company's founder, has experienced this first-hand over the past year, taking over as executive chairman at prolific family-run Gloucestershire business, GR Lane Health Products (Lanes Health).
Recognised for its iconic household brands such as Pro Plus, Olbas Oil and Kalms, over the last 40 years, the company has taken a considered and steady approach to growth, with a targeted plan that has included developing current international markets and seeking new ones — this has seen Lanes achieve significant market share and ever-increasing shelf space and position.
Lanes believes that two key factors have supported the success of the business, the first, a strong product range that translates across international markets; and secondly, great relationships with customers which have been nurtured and grown by a passionate and dedicated sales team.
Groves said: 'When we are looking to expand into new markets, we have to consider which products are best suited, the audience opportunity, legislation around regulation and import, feasibility and existing category performance – among many other factors.'
Lanes has always looked for new international trade opportunities and this remains a core focus for the company’s future growth across the next 10 years.
'We have recently started trading in China and South Korea, markets which we see a strong opportunity for future growth, particularly with Jakemans.
'Other key focus territories that we’re looking to expand in include India, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, Germany, France, Italy and Turkey. Finding the right partner is extremely important to us and ensuring they have the right vision and values that we do for our business and brands.'
Future-proofing the business is top of Groves agenda and investment in sustainability and the company’s environmental impact is integral to Lanes Health's longevity.
'With ongoing efforts to reduce carbon impact and be in line with 2030 national targets, we have implemented several changes to move towards achieving this goal including changing suppliers, installing solar panels and re-evaluating production processes to reduce waste and save energy.'
The family-run business is currently working with a company that has enabled it to achieve zero waste to landfill, meaning everything is now either recycled or turned back into energy.
The next focus is on transport and how the business reduces carbon emissions linked to this. 'A new project is currently being created to utilise solar panels and hydrogen, with further details to come, so watch this space.'