Royston Kent didn’t dream of becoming a CEO, rather he aspired to join the army – but one chance moment led the executive to purchasing B&C Plastics.
"I was waiting for my army dates to be confirmed when I got a job in a factory," Kent recalls. "My wife Wendy [fiancee at the time] didn’t want me to join the army and preferred me to take an opportunity in injection moulding."
Responsible for manufacturing commercial plastic products for brands including Virgin Australia, Telstra, Lendlease and Jetstar, the Australian-owned company turns ideas into reality.
Providing expertise and sustainable outcomes for industrial designs, 3D printing, computer numerical control machining and prototypes, the manufacturer offers end-to-end business solutions.
Promising to push the boundaries of discovery, Kent is determined to adapt the company to meet the needs of the future.
"We have been working with the defence, medical, recycling and environmental industries for many years," he shares. "COVID-19 has made many countries, including Australia, realise that we are too dependent on other countries.
"We are focusing on expanding our design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities and, in turn, helping improve our sovereign capabilities within the medical and defence industries."
Although many businesses globally were hit hard by the pandemic, B&C Plastics was able to position itself for success.
"We understood what our worst-case scenario and fallback position would be, put that behind us and went all in," Kent explains. "We have experienced more than 40 per cent growth in the past 12 months with an additional 33 per cent growth forecast for the next two years. We’re extremely grateful."
Surrounding himself with similar leaders, the CEO shares the highs and lows of business with the 14,000 business owners involved with the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).
"It can be a lonely place being in business," he admits. "Finding EO gave me access to other like-minded people.
"I have attended forum and exclusive learning events every month, travelled the world attending EO universities and regional learning events with some of the world’s greatest business minds and speakers, meeting million- and billion-dollar business owners with incredible journeys and experiences.
"This is the real world with real-world experiences."
Connecting with big thinkers isn’t just a benefit of EO, but a quality Kent aims to establish in the business – after all, people are what make or break a company.
"The right team culture is key for success," the CEO insists. "It’s not something you just put in a business plan. It must be driven from the top down, and then down and up again – A-players are a must."
With more than 60 years of experience in the injection moulding and plastics manufacturing industry, B&C Plastics aspires to solve global problems.
From championing his team to always striving to learn about his peers, the executive shares one of the biggest leadership lessons he’s picked up over the past 15 years.
"Being vulnerable gives you credibility as a human, and being vulnerable exposes you to the risk of failure – this is often where we learn the most about ourselves," Kent says. "I believe you have to be willing to put yourself in uncomfortable situations to learn and grow.
"If we are not growing as individuals, we can’t reach our full potential."