Tim Westwell, Managing Director of Pukka Herbs
Moon Consulting provides executive recruitment services to some of the best known brands in the UK and Internationally. In this article, Moon Consulting meet Tim Westwell, Managing Director of Pukka Herbs. Tim tells us about how Pukka was founded, his export success and the power of authenticity.
Moon meets with Tim at Pukka Herbs’ headquarters in Bristol. It is from here that Pukka distributes its award winning range of organic herbal teas across the world. Pukka is one of the South West’s great success stories and was awarded the Sunday Times Fast Track ‘One to Watch’ Award, growing from meagre beginnings to a £17m turnover business producing one million cups of organic herbal tea every day, exporting over half of these around the world.
Tim first got the idea for Pukka Herbs during a period of ill health. “I was diagnosed with a severe back problem and facing a lifetime on painkillers. I thought how often we take our bodies for granted and I started to take yoga classes and developed an interest in nutrition and herbs. I had a successful career, but I decided to take some time out and reflect on what I wanted to achieve.”
In 2001 Tim placed an advert in Venue magazine looking for a like-minded individual who had a passion for herbs. The only response came from Sebastian Pole, an experienced herbalist and now Tim’s co-director. “It was very much like going on a blind date” laughs Tim, “We quickly hit it off though and as they say the rest is history.”
In the summer of 2002 Tim and Sebastian went to their first trade show with three teas. “We were delighted when we won an award for best organic product” says Tim, “We had to pinch ourselves as we never expected to be that successful.”
The success has continued for Pukka, driven by a passionate and relentless focus on quality. “We source over 175 herbs from over 40 countries, with every single one being checked for quality,” says Tim. The company also has very strong ethical credentials and supports many social projects locally and around the world. “I believe that Pukka is a platform that can enable people to reach their potential, be they employees, farmers, growers or customers.”
Tim is certain that getting the right people into the business with this high level of potential will be critical for his future challenges: “We are looking at increasing our exports to America, Europe, India and China. Germany is a key market: it has the largest consumption of herbal tea in the world,” he says. “It’s a constant challenge to stay ahead of the curve and keep thriving. It’s important to be passionate about your business, to believe in yourself and also to be honest with people. Pukka has an authenticity to it that customers respond positively to. We really believe in the power of herbs and how they can make you feel good.”
Passion and belief is certainly at the heart of Pukka Herbs, generated by the directors and flowing down throughout the business. Their ethical credentials, focus on quality and taking an international approach from the very beginning has ensured a high level of success. With Pukka constantly experimenting and developing new products while remaining true to their core principles, expect to see even greater success in future.
If you would like to find out more about how Moon Consulting finds the high-potential staff that can improve your business, or our work with ethical and international businesses, contact us on 01275 371200 or via email@example.com
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