2 Blokes, 25 years of Service and a Radio Company

Philip Hadler, local businessman and Managing Director of Herne Bay based radio communication distributor, Icom (UK) Ltd, has recently celebrated 25 years of service with the company. Speaking to the company's Marketing Executive, Ian Lockyer, Philip talked about his time with the company and the changes he has seen over the last three decades.

Philip began his service with Thanet Electronics, later to be known as Icom (UK) Ltd, in 1976. He joined the company because of his interest in the Amateur Radio hobby. Philip said, 'I was always interested in Amateur Radio because my father used to build radios. My interest also happened to coincide with my work. I had been a radio/television service engineer for six years. It wasn’t long before I met Dave Stockley (Icom UK's Chairman) & Paul Nicholson the original founders of the company. They were importing radios, getting busy and couldn’t do all the repairs, so I started modifying and repairing radios on a part-time basis. It got to the stage that I was able to take voluntary redundancy with the company I was with and Dave and Paul offered me a full time job as a service engineer.'

Philip worked modifying radio equipment for 18 months, moving into the Reculver Road workshop. However it wasn’t long before he found out that his selling skills were a lot sharper than his engineering skills. Philip said, 'After moving into sales, I was given the task of building up the Icom shop. I was very keen on HF radios at that time and I successfully introduced that line into the shop. At the time, I believe we had the best and tiniest Ham shop in the country.'

By the time Thanet Electronics changed its name to Icom (UK) Ltd, Philip had already worked in every role at Icom including service engineer, dispatch, ordering, selling etc. He said,' That’s why I think I can understand and empathise with all our employees from all aspects of the business.'

Philip became Managing Director about 10 years ago. He firmly believes that Icom's major achievement has been its great service to its customers. He said.' Despite becoming a much larger company, we are still very easy to deal with. There are a lot of things I am proud of throughout my time with the company including the various high profile sponsorship such as Richard Branson's Balloon/Boat record attempts. However overall, I think our biggest achievement is keeping the place going, keeping our staff happy and especially keeping our customers happy.'

Outside of work Philip gives his time to a children’s charity with Dave Lee. Having worked as a professional musician for two and a half years in various bands, prior to joining the company, Philip still has strong connections with the music trade. He added, 'I occasionally do the odd gig to raise money for charity.'

So how does he sum up his 25 years of service at Icom? Philip said, 'Working for Icom has been pretty good. I have been to Japan about 15 times and I still enjoy it even though it is extremely hard work.' He further added,' Working for Dave has been excellent. He is a really good laugh and we get on together very well. There have been no airs and graces. Quite simply, we are just blokes working together with a common goal.'

Dave Stockley, Chairman of Icom (UK) Ltd and Philip's colleague for the last 25 years said, 'During the years that Phil has been with us, the company's fortunes have had inevitable ups and downs.

Throughout, Phil has been a steady pillar to lean on. I would prefer to say that he works "with me" rather than "for me". My life has been all the better for knowing him, a true friend.'

Icom UK Marketing: marketing@icomuk.co.uk

06/12/2001
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