‘Great British engineering’

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 12.23.13Neil Fowell, Kliklok International’s managing director, predicts continued sound capital investment over the next 12 months, driving plant efficiency and cost gains.


Describe yourself in three words:
Calm, forward-thinking, pragmatic.

What’s your biggest professional achievement?
I am most proud of delivering real forward-thinking competitive insight that steered the development of the Tetra Pak ambient development programme, rebuilding the global business development training on the back of this insight and driving the communication platforms to reinforce our direction and competitive strengths.

How did you get to where you are today?
I just love to move things forward with enthusiasm and not being afraid to make mistakes as you often learn how to do it better next time. I have always used the mantra that you need to know where you want to go, otherwise how do you know when you have got there, but small steps are fine – just make sure you take them.

What does a typical day look like for you?
I am a ‘get up, have breakfast and go to work’ kind of guy. For me, as MD, I like to walk through the business in the early morning to get a feel for the issues which might arise and take note of all the positives. I will attend a variety of scheduled meetings, but I know I have a handle on the realities within the business to guide and shape the outcomes. I like time at the end of the day to reflect and I’m often the last one out of the building.
I use the homebound journey to kick start all the thinking of what I will do in the evening and will switch off, unless hosting dinner which is usually once per week.

What have been the highlights of your company’s history, in your opinion?
The best bits are yet to come, however I am constantly proud of the feedback we get globally on the excellence of our innovation and great British engineering. We take on complex projects where others shy away and deliver brilliant, reliable and creative solutions.

What is your pet hate?
Waiters overfilling your glass of wine.

Give us a positive prediction for the food industry over the next 12 months:
Sound capital investment continues to drive plant efficiency and cost gains.

What do you consider to be the most important attributes for a leader?
Enthusiasm, sincerity, a clear communicator and belief in the ability of others.

Who do you most admire?
My father, who at 83 still knuckles on down, takes challenges in his stride and is silently proud of what I do too.

Which people/organisations or companies are the ones to watch right now?
Ours for sure, as we have some truly great combined development projects. When you have that joint commitment it’s a pleasure to achieve. We’ve worked with a number of very exciting companies in the last few years, including the likes of Weetabix, Pidy Gourmet, R&R Ice Cream and Cotteswold Dairy to name but a few.

Which words do you most overuse?
Just follow the process.

If you weren’t in your current position, what else might you be doing?
Sailing around parts of the world I love and finding new things everyday.

Tell us something about yourself that few people know.
I inhaled a hat pin into my lungs when I was eight, and they finally removed it when I was ten after I came clean.

Any vices?
Fast cars and motorbikes – I just can’t seem to shed the boy in me.

What single thing would most improve the quality of your life?
More time with my friends.

How do you relax?
Exploring, often outside, and helping others.

How would you like to be remembered?
As a great friend, father and son.

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