Bill Towner

Position? Country Manager.

What are your main responsibilities? Responsible for the growth of Rapid Access LLC (part of the UK-based Lavendon Group) in Oman by providing excellent products, services and systems to customers within this country which has enormous potential.

What are your company's Unique Selling Points (USPs) in Oman? We have provided powered access in the Middle East for 20 years and arrived in the Sultanate of Oman three years ago. We supply equipment to the construction, infrastructure and oil and gas services industries. Since we arrived here, and with the support of our key clients who share our passion for safety and innovation, we have developed a unique approach to working at height which promotes the safe and efficient use of powered access equipment. Recently we have added International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) training to our offering and look forward to developing this with the Oil and Gas and other major international and Omani contractors. Our company vision is our "Safety Value Chain" and with the opening of the training centre we can complete the four links in this chain, Machine Selection, Safety and Innovation, Support Services and now Specialist Training.

What achievement are you most proud of? Whilst I worked in the UK for Nationwide Platforms, also part of the Lavendon Group, I spent three years as Project Manager based at the 2012 Olympic Games from 2008 to the end of construction in 2011 and followed that with two years based on London Heathrow Terminal 2. Both of these projects, though challenging, were very rewarding personally and financially successful for the company. In Oman, introducing teamwork and being able to pull together a team of employees from so many different countries, languages and cultures, including mine, and getting us all working cohesively has been very rewarding. Also recently moving our initially rather primitive premises situated in the middle of a Wadi to a new and purpose built state of the art premises which has instilled all our team with a great sense of pride.

What would you still like to achieve (in life, leisure or business)? In business, to continue to drive the growth of the business making sure that we have taken every opportunity and leave a long lasting legacy for when I eventually leave Oman. We have five children and look forward to the many weddings and family occasions to come along and to make our plans to divide our time between our home in Sussex and Spain a reality.

What do you think makes Oman an attractive destination to do business? Oman, though still a young country, is positive and forward looking and because of this opportunities will exist for positive and forward looking businesses to do very well.

What sectors do you think will thrive in Oman and the UK in the coming years and why? The Oil and Gas and infrastructure industries will continue to grow, in particular the Khazzan project and the planned development of Duqm, as well as the planned major projects throughout the Sultanate. All of these projects give our company further opportunities to grow. In the UK, for our UK company, the rail sector, particularly Crossrail, Aviation and Nuclear projects are all showing good potential, and with long-term completion dates, the future looks promising.

What is the best business advice you have ever received? Three things. Listen! Make sure you have all the facts before you respond. Hit your numbers.

Favourite destinations in Oman and why? Visiting the desert, particularly Wahiba Sands and the Empty Quarter. The quietness is uncanny. The mountains and the Wadis around the Rustaq Loop for the fantastic scenery and the uniqueness.

Favourite destinations in the UK and why? The countryside and coastal area around Chichester with one of the best beaches in England at West Wittering. Great for cycling and walking. Liverpool for a lively weekend break - fantastic nightlife, maritime history and culture.

Favourite restaurant in Oman and UK? Tropicana Restaurant at the Crowne Plaza for fish night on a Friday and The Golden Spoon in Al Khuwair for great curries. In the UK, Tirana Restaurant in Lingfield.

Describe your character in five words? Driven, understanding, hard-but-fair, committed and positive.

What are your hobbies? Football, cycling and walking.

What five things would you take to a desert island? Music and something to play it on with a solar charger, fishing rod and accessories, a good stock of wine, a boat for when I have had enough and want to leave.....and my wife!

What public figures do you most admire and why? Bill Shankly. He was Liverpool FC manager when I was growing up and in my formative teen years. I still use some of his sayings and the honesty and simplicity of them have stood the test of time and translated to a business environment.