Stuart Mitchell established his entrepreneurial credentials when he set up Flexlife four years ago with co-founder John Marsden. An Aberdeen-headquartered business it supports companies with subsea interests inspect, maintain and repair their flexible piping.
Working as an engineer within the oil and gas sector, Stuart’s vision was for a consultancy which offered tried and tested industry solutions while radically changing the way consultancy projects were priced to ensure goals were aligned with those of the customer.
Flexlife opened for business as a two-man operation in April 2007. Word quickly spread throughout the industry, both in relation to the success of the innovative engineering solution and its approach to pricing.
The first major contract came in the form of a well project in Tunisia, which provided the security of cash in the bank and allowed Stuart to start on his second vision for the business – to combine the engineering consultancy with patented products for the inspection, monitoring, repair and protection of flexible pipes.
This award-winning technology is now widely acknowledged as a step change for the industry.
Earlier this year, Stuart strengthened his Board with the appointment of two non-executive directors in David Cassie of Subsea 7 and Sandy Clark of Amec, both considered to be energy industry leaders.
The last 18 months have seen the company position itself to take advantage of international growth and it now has a presence in Brazil, the USA and Asia-Pacific and has secured a clutch of high profile contracts with Hess, Statoil, Total, Shell, Maersk Oil and CNR among others.
The recent injection of equity, long term contract wins and strengthening of the Board has meant Stuart is now well placed to continue the business’ impressive growth through the £20million turnover barrier and beyond.
Jim Boyle, partner and head of entrepreneurial business at Deloitte and judge for the awards said: “Stuart is a focused and determined individual who spotted the opportunity to address dissatisfaction in his industry and did something about it. In four years, he has created a business unlike almost any other in the industry and which has a relentless focus on adding value.
“He has executed on his strategy in an incredibly short space of time, managing the company’s rapid growth without compromising on the approach which has made Flexlife the success it has been to date.”