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Sixth Queen's award for business leader

James Bird
James Bird

A SENIOR Kent figure is celebrating six of the best from the Queen.

James Bird, a deputy lieutenant of Kent with involvement in numerous educational, charitable, medical and business organisations across the county, has steered a company to a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

It is the sixth Queen’s Award that his companies have received over the past 30 years.

Indamex, a small company of six people who sell diesel generators, more than tripled its export sales over the past three years, with products going to China, Kuwait, Barbados, Kenya and Ghana.

Mr Bird, 65, was chief executive and chairman at Petbow, a Sandwich-based power generation firm, when it won five Queen’s Awards in the 1970s and 1980s. Petbow, which was founded by his grandfather, is now owned by Cummins Power Generation at Manston.

Indamex invited Mr Bird to join the company as chairman in 2001 because of his vast experience in power generators.

Since then, it has become a major exporter, increasing sales by 363 per cent and pushing the proportion of overseas to domestic sales to 99 per cent.

Mr Bird travels regularly from his home in Kingsdown, east Kent, to the firm’s headquarters in Peterborough, as well as making frequent visits overseas. He is currently trying to promote sales in Lebanon and Qatar.

Mr Bird put the achievement down to a team effort. "The key to it was that people got off their bums and travelled around the world to find customers and distributors," he said.

He added: "It is nice to get it again. It proves we can still do it."

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