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From factory floor to boardroom

PILING

ROSS Miller started out in ? as he puts it ? a 'crappy job' in a factory as a paint sprayer.

He grew up in Kent and has never lived outside the county.

After deciding he wanted a more challenging job, Mr Miller gained a post as a laboratory technician with the county council.

The first job he was given was soil testing. With some experience in geotechnics he moved to a blacktopping company as a site engineer, before joining the piling industry in 1991.

'It looked interesting and I'd always fancied it, ' he says. 'I saw a job advertised with Rock and Alluvium, went for it, and got it.' After doing his time on site setting out and doing quality control checks he moved to the commercial side. By 1999 he had taken over the estimating department and in 2001 was made estimating and marketing director.

'We had a big push in marketing the company and really built up the client base, ' he says.

'We got a lot of new clients, but used those jobs to generate repeat business, which is the key to success.' Despite enjoying his role running many jobs and contributing to the strategic development of a large company, Mr Miller had always dreamed of starting his own business.

He says: 'I toyed with going to the bank and t rying to set up on my own, but getting the backing made the whole thing easier.

It does feel a bit like fate.'