Oldham’s Gemini UPVC, a fabricator of PVC-U systems from The Veka UK Group, has staved off competition from 38 other companies to win a revered local business award.
The annual Oldham Business Awards recognise companies in the region across 12 categories. Gemini picked up the award for Employer of the Year, topping a shortlist of three finalists in attendance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall prize-giving. The company also reached the final three in the Business of the Year (£1m – £5m turnover) category.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2016, Gemini is one of two companies established by Robert Griffiths, the first being AWC Windows. In the 1980s, Robert’s sons Paul and Michael took over the running of Gemini and AWC respectively, continuing the successful partnership of fabrication and installation businesses their father had started.
“The family tie is undoubtedly something that’s helped both businesses to flourish over the years,” said Paul Griffiths, managing director of Gemini UPVC. “Negative feedback for either company would have a detrimental effect on customers’ perception of the other. We’ve too much pride in what we do to jeopardise our good reputation, and we know our staff feel the same. Michael and I may be brothers, but the whole organisation feels like one big family!”
Besides championing systems from The Veka UK Group, both companies actively engage with the PVC-U giant’s two-tiered installer support offering, as Paul explained: “Veka’s Approved Installer Scheme and Network Veka definitely played a part in Gemini winning this award. Our approved status clearly demonstrates our commitment to quality, and has helped us to grow an already loyal customer base. And through Network Veka we’re able to provide regular and easy access to training for our staff, even resulting in NVQ qualifications and opportunities for further career development.
“The whole Gemini team are integral to our place in Network Veka. Companies are vetted to ensure they meet the high standards required for membership, but regular re-assessments mean there’s no option to rest on your laurels. The great thing is, you get so much back for the pride and effort you put in, and that’s pivotal to staff feeling valued. For my part, I try to lead by example, and demonstrate that we’re all working for the greater good of the company.”
With customer satisfaction scores averaging around 97% compared to an industry norm of just 83%, Gemini’s efforts are clearly well directed. Dave Jones, managing director of The Veka UK Group commented: “Gemini, along with ‘brother’ company AWC are fantastic ambassadors for Veka. Paul’s team offer a comprehensive service, providing technical guidance, consultancy, and – of course – flawlessly fabricated Veka systems. Besides this though, the company places high importance on ‘giving something back’. It sponsors local charities and events, is a significant employer in its local area, and is a highly visible presence in the community. We’re thrilled that Gemini has been recognised with this award and offer the whole team our sincere congratulations.”