Fischer Panda UK is accelerating its ambitious growth plans in the marine business after recruiting experienced industry executive Craig Gutteridge as the company’s new Marine Sales Manager.
The 15-year marine sector specialist starts his new role at Fischer Panda UK after emigrating with his family from South Africa where he was Divisional Director of Rutherford Marine in Johannesburg, the sole distributor of Mercury outboards and MerCruiser inboards.
Effective from 9th May, the strong appointment by the marine systems integrator will provide expert knowledge, strategic awareness and leadership in the drive to provide the most technologically advanced and innovative hybrid and electric power, climate control, digital monitoring and watermaker solutions for Fischer Panda UK’s expanding marine customer base in the leisure and commercial markets.
A Business School graduate in Management Development, Craig has gained extensive commercial skills in sales and multi-channel product distribution, managing and developing OEM accounts, cultivating dealer relationships, and directing innovative marketing solutions during various roles at Rutherford Marine.
He was born in Leicester, UK, before moving to South Africa at a young age, and returns “home’ with his wife, Kerri-Anne, and children, Luke, 5, and Holly, 2, to join the Fischer Panda UK team at its Verwood, Dorset, headquarters.
He said: “Fischer Panda UK not only offers industry leading, quality engineered equipment, but being part of an amazing team with years of experience attracted me to this role.
“Fischer Panda UK already has a solid foundation in the UK and I look forward to expanding these currents opportunities, but also developing new business interests in submarkets by offering our entire integrated solutions. Trade shows are great networking events and I am excited to introduce myself to the British Marine industry and establish new relationships.
“I aim to maximise our sales opportunities during these challenging new and existing business environments, whilst building relationships with our current customer base and new potential markets.”
The appeal of the UK’s marine industry was also a significant factor in Craig’s decision to return to the country, with his experience offering a unique perspective and comparison of the two markets.
He added: “There is certainly a difference between the South Africa marine industry and UK, not only the size of the market being that much bigger in the UK, but the range of applications for the incredible marine product available for the modern marine industry. The environment in South Africa is more volatile and I see the growth potential for the marine industry as very positive in this country, with more opportunities for my family and their future.”
Craig will be supporting the Fischer Panda UK team at upcoming shows, including Crick Boat Show and Seawork International.