20 Year Interview With Mike Halpin
Midas celebrated 20 years as a company in 2020. Sadly, due to the pandemic, the team have been unable to get together, until July 2021, for a celebration to mark the occasions. Now that the team are able to celebrate, and we are coming out of the pandemic restrictions, we decided to ask our Managing Director & CEO, Mike Halpin, 20 questions about Midas to mark the occasion.
1) When you started Midas 20 years ago, where did you think the company would be now?
We have not achieved all our goals, but that is a moving target. To me, we still feel we are in our infancy. I thought we would be a specialist design-in distributor, not a displays manufacturer and supplier.
2) Think back 20 years, what was the thought process behind starting Midas?
I had always wanted my own business and had become frustrated by the politics of big business; I wanted a business which was inclusive and provided service and support to our customers, which we would expect when dealing with businesses.
3) Where did the name ‘Midas’ originate?
Midas was derived from the three people who started the business Mi (Mike) D (Dick) a (and) S (Steve). Steve left the business at the end of out first year. Dick retired 2 ½ years ago. Midas is also a Greek king, rewarded by the gods and as the saying goes ‘everything he touches turns to gold’.
4) What has surprised you most during the company’s history (so far)?
Midas have employed several young people straight from school, college, and university and, almost without exception have grown and flourished within the company. Traditionally, young people don’t get a great ‘press’, and I have been pleasantly surprised by how rewarding it has been working with them.
5) If you could go back 20 years, what is the one piece of advice you would give yourself?
Surround yourself with good people who share your ambition.
6) With so many changes in the industry over the past 20 years, how have you found adapting Midas along the way?
There have been numerous challenges; market crashes, financial market turmoil, recession and recently a pandemic! The team has always stepped up and worked through them, with the view that challenge brings opportunity.
7) Midas have several employees who have been with the company for very long periods of time, why do you think this is?
We are all in this together and I believe our employees have seen this and responded positively. I hate to use the phrase ‘we are a family’, but our commitment to every employee is appreciated.
8) How would you describe the working culture at Midas?
9) What do you see as Midas greatest achievements to date?
Developing our comprehensive brand of displays with engineering support based in the UK.
10) What about Midas gives you the biggest sense of pride?
Growing a successful displays business to provide security for its employees and building lost lasting relationships with a customers and manufacturing partners.
11) What are Midas core values as a business?
Honesty. Integrity. Growth. Commitment.
12) What do you think customers should expect when dealing with Midas?
A knowledgeable, professional, and personable relationship.
13) How do you think employees see working at Midas?
I hope they see a caring, committed company, who will provide them with secure employment and career progression.
14) Midas regularly take on apprentices, many of which have gone on to fulfil Management roles. What do you see as the main reason behind taking on apprentices?
We struggled to find the right employees with the requisite skills the business needed, so we bought in individuals at the start of their careers who were open to training and enthusiastic.
15) A financial crash in 2008, and a global pandemic in the past year or so, what has been the biggest challenge for Midas?
Ensuring that the business worked through these challenging times, providing job security for employees.
16) 2020 should have been a huge celebration year for Midas, but the pandemic put a stop to that. How did you find managing a business through this tough year?
We were already seeing challenges from Brexit and then the pandemic. The first six months of the pandemic were particularly challenging; however, the team stepped up as always and drove the business through 2020. Unfortunately, we were unable to celebrate as we would have liked, but we are enjoying a very busy 2021, and the prospects for the future look very exciting.
17) The team are finally back together soon for a 20-year celebration after so long apart, how important is this for you?
Our goal when the pandemic hit was to maintain our employee levels and continue to pay salaries at 100%. We did this and in fact increased our head numbers. I am incredibly proud that we were able to work through the pandemic and keep everyone in the business.
18) If you could fly all the Midas employees anywhere in the world for a 20-year celebration, where would it be?
Any of the Thai islands.
19) What are the next steps for Midas in the next 5-10 years?
We are expecting significant growth over the next 5 to years and the Midas team will grow to support this. Our management team will take on more responsibility and support this growth.
20) How would you describe Midas in three words?
Honest. Knowledgeable. Innovative.