Now approaching a decade of trading, London based European Glass has maintained strong growth by anticipating and, in some cases shaping the glass market it serves. Understanding the requirements of the architect and glazing contractor has been paramount to the success of European. Founder Mick Johal spent many years in the shopfront industry, where he developed an awareness of exactly what is required from a glass supplier.
Mick now runs the group with his wife Farzana and Nadeem Mehar. This management team has taken the company from a 10,000ft2 unit in Park Royal in 1994, through to setting up a 150,000ft2 factory in Manchester in 2000 (representing an investment of around £10m), and is now puting the finishing touches to a 200,000ft2 site near the original Park Royal premises. The new factory also houses some of the latest glass processing machinery, including the largest Tamglass toughening plant on the market. Made in the USA, this new machine is capable of producing extra large toughened sheets of up to 7m x 3.3m. This is a prime example of the way in which European pre-empts the needs of the market. Investing in the technology to produce extra large toughened sheets means that architects have scope to use even bigger glazed areas. It also makes it possible to provide toughened glass solutions to a wider range of bespoke projects. For example, the company was recently asked to quote for the 7m glass fins in a glass bridge - which prior to commissioning the new toughening furnace would have been impossible to achieve with single pieces of glass.