Innovative product manufacturer and marketer | Established in
Based in Cardiff, V&A Holdings International Ltd is essentially an amalgamation of four divisions - V&A Marketing, V&A Coatings, V&A Windows and V&A Plastics - all of which are owned by Vic Davies and Adrian Llewellyn Jones. Last year, the business was recognised as the fastest growing company in Wales. It is therefore no surprise that it has continued its development from a small company with only six staff and a turnover of under £400,000 in 1996, to a firm employing 110 staff and a turnover in excess of £6.8million in 1999. This progress, achieved in a short space of time, has been largely achieved by using its own resources, investing £2 million in new plant and machinery over the past two years.
The largest of the firm’s divisions - V&A Marketing - was established to exploit intellectual property rights for new and innovative products. Its most successful brand to date is the world’s first non-spill toddler drinking cup - the Anywayup CupTM - that was awarded Millennium Product status by the Design Council. It is currently sold in all leading supermarkets, nursery retailers and pharmacies throughout the UK, as well as Europe, Australia and the Far East. The other subsidiaries are also very active in their markets. V&A Plastics produces a wide range of quality nursery products under the ‘Tough and Tumble’ brand name whilst V&A Coatings provides on-site respraying of shop fronts of major multiples, retailers and other commercial premises throughout the UK and Europe. Finally V&A Windows provides the sale, design, manufacture and installation of quality conservatories, doors and windows.
Since winning last year’s award, not only has the firm’s business increased but also the way in which the company is viewed within Wales has changed. Whilst V&A was relatively unknown outside industry circles, the Wales Fast Growth Fifty 1999 award has given it the platform on which to continuously develop its business philosophies and the opportunity to make the company known to the economic and political decision makers within the Principality. In fact, Vic Davies recently addressed the Assembly’s Economic Development Committee on the specific needs of small to medium sized enterprises in Wales.
The firm has ambitious plans for the future. During 2000, V&A will launch over twenty new nursery products under the ‘Tough and Tumble’ product range, with the first already having come on-stream in the new year in Mothercare, Tesco’s and Boots. Part of this new development has been as a result of the publicity surrounding the business becoming Wales’ fastest growing firm last year. As Vic Davies explains, "Mums and Dads, inventors and business people have, following the announcement of the Fast Growth Fifty last June, approached V&A with new products and ideas. Feasibility studies are currently being carried out on some of these, hand in hand with the company’s programme of new product development." These include the Anywayup Smiley CupTM, which is being launched for babies from six months and has the endorsement of the Health Education Authority as a product designed to encourage good dental hygiene from the earliest age. These innovations will ensure that V&A will continue to be rightly recognised as one of the most successful and creative businesses in Wales for many years to come.