Wednesday 3rd October 2012 marked Fistral’s 21st anniversary.
This article by Paul Lyden is a personal account that tells the story of the company to date.
This second part of the article below covers:
- Fistral the Early Years
- Fraser and Fistral
- Other Members of the Fistral Family
Fistral – the Early Years
The original business idea was to provide services to a fledgling computer market for small to medium sized business, brought about by the recent development of the IBM personal computer and its many clones. Hardware was becoming affordable for the small business, and software – such as simple accounts packages – were hitting the market.
Paul realised that the missing ingredient for new computer users was expertise in project managing computer installations and technical expertise to get the solutions right. This is what Fistral provided.
The company grew over the next ten years providing computer expertise to many projects, large and small. In 2000 the company was involved in a large project in Switzerland and needed new technical resources. Fraser Robertson had previously worked for the company on a student placement from university and had left his mark as a reliable and creative member of staff.
Fraser originally joined the company in 1999 and was shortly thereafter posted to Switzerland. His first few weeks were working in a remote area of the Swiss-Italian Alps with no supervision. Quite a shock! The events of September 11th 2001 caused the project to end prematurely, by which time Fraser left the company to pursue technical and project management challenges elsewhere.
By 2008, Paul was beginning to think of retirement and started to plan how to bring that about to the satisfaction of his many customers. The business by this time had migrated largely to a training and consultancy company, dealing less with the fast moving technical development of computer systems to the more fundamental project management issues involved in IT, scientific and research projects.
Customers were very happy with the services that Fistral provided and wanted them to continue. Paul immediately thought of Fraser and started to discuss his moving back into the company as a director.
[Paul and Fraser] Fraser re-joined the company on 1st August 2008 and took over as managing Director on 1st August 2010.
Paul retired on 19th November 2010 – although he still acts in a consultancy capacity as and when required, and is a bedrock of advice, support and experience for the Fistral team.
Other Members of the Fistral Family
The longest standing employee of the company is Carol Thomson who has kept the books for Fistral almost from the very beginning. Carol plays a core role in helping to keep the business on the right financial track – and combined with the accountancy team – is an invaluable fountain of knowledge and port of advice.
Our newest employee, Pauline Donachy, joined the company full-time after several years’ association with Fistral in various roles in the areas of customer service and business development. Pauline’s previous commercial and academic experience combined with programme and project management in the UK and abroad, complemented the existing team so well that she started full-time in 2011. Pauline provides a main point-of-contact and support for customers for all things Fistral related.
In addition, Fistral also has many Associates in the UK that are on-call to support clients and contribute their areas of expertise to the Fistral Product Suite.
Staff come and go but these individuals make a good company great.