The following article appeared in the Press & Journal on Friday, March 15 2013. It takes a look back at the career of one of our longest-serving members of staff, Peter Major, who works as a sales executive at our Aberdeen operation.
Peter recently received a long-service award at our company’s annual conference, having spent 30 years with the business.
Peter Major, Sales Executive
Name of school attended
Edgware Secondary Modern School in London
10 O-levels; 2 A-levels
RAF training – basic aircrew; maritime conversion; Nimrod conversion
I joined the RAF as soon as I left school. Working as an air electronics operator I was based all over – including Yorkshire, Cornwall, Northern Ireland and Sharjah in the Middle East before moving to Kinloss in 1972. I’ve lived nearby in Nairn ever since and I’m still in touch with a few of my old friends from those days.
After leaving the RAF, I retrained as a welder but after three years in the job I realised that it wasn’t for me so opted for a new challenge.
Initially, I went into selling insurance products and, although it was a hard job, I learned a lot about myself and found I had an aptitude for sales and interacting with people.
In 1979 I joined Rank Xerox (now Xerox) in a sales role and started to learn all about the office equipment trade. In 1982 I took this knowledge and, along with three partners, started our own business, West End Business Systems in Aberdeen.
How you got your current role
Tom Flockhart, Founder and Managing Director of Capital Document Solutions, had personally approached us several times with his vision of where we would fit into the wider Capital operation and was eager to buy West End, while keeping myself and the other directors on board. In autumn of 2009, we agreed terms.
I believe it was the right decision to sell the company. These days it is incredibly difficult to survive as a single operator. It requires a certain level of infrastructure, something Capital has in abundance, to make sure products operate reliably, efficiently and that people are trained properly on how to use them.
I love the technology involved. The combination of working with the latest gadgets while utilising my sales skills is a terrific experience. We also have a great team dynamic here in the Aberdeen office.
The worst bit will be leaving this industry behind. I have gone from being my own boss for 27 years to working as part of a much larger company – but the transition has been seamless and I have slotted in here very well.
Claim to fame
While I was in the RAF I took up DJ-ing and have loved it ever since. One of my favourite bookings took place while we were based in the Middle East. I was asked to play on board the yacht of Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum in Dubai harbour which was a fantastic experience.
As part of an RAF training exercise, I circumnavigated the globe in just over two weeks – travelling across Greenland, mainland USA, Hawaii, Singapore, the Maldives and Cyprus. I’ve been a keen traveller ever since. My wife Jean and I are planning to go on an Alaskan cruise someday.
Best business advice you’ve been given
One of the best business decisions I’ve taken was to join the BNI (Business Network International). I’ve been a member for over 10 years and in that time I’ve gained hugely in terms of personal development.
Advice to others
Don’t be afraid of a new challenge or to try new things. There have been a lot of major differences in the office equipment business since I first joined the industry but it’s important to embrace change. It has certainly kept me young at heart!