Sir Boyd Tunnock arrives at his office at 7am every morning; a routine which he has followed for the previous SEVEN decades of his employment at the world renowned Thomas Tunnock Ltd. The eighty-seven year old teacake tycoon has recently been knighted from HM The Queen for his service to business and philanthropy, cementing his place among the most successful entrepreneurs in Scotland.
Sir Boyd – a prominent sponsor of Orbit’s work, and whose insights are included in our curriculum – is just as passionate about the Tunnock’s brand now as he was when he got started in 1947. Founded in 1890 by Sir Boyd’s grandfather, Thomas Tunnock, the business is now one of the world’s best known confectionery and bakery brands and the firm remains as a family owned enterprise. Their famous factory in Uddingston produces millions of caramel wafers, teacakes, and chocolate snowballs every month and distributes them to retailers across the world.
When asked what it takes to launch a business, Sir Boyd said: “it only happens when two people get together”. Both interpersonal skills and communication skills have formed the bedrock of the success Tunnock’s have enjoyed. Mr Tunnock – whom asks everyone to call him by his first name; Boyd – is known for his charisma. He walks around the factory every morning and greets all of his staff – of which there are several hundred – by their first names.
“The general public are not stupid”, explains Boyd. “It’s all about quality… and people know when they’ve gotten a good deal”. By combining two competitive strategies in one – cost leadership and product leadership – Tunnock’s have adopted an unusual, but clearly lucrative business model. This, coupled with the fact that the company has NEVER used debt funding, marks the Tunnock’s story of success apart from almost all of their rivals.
See clips from our interview with Sir Boyd Tunnock below, or learn the full success formula that has powered his multi-million pound business by applying to join Orbit’s business incubator course.