Lynne Jhangeer - LINIAN

Lynne Jhangeer is Sales and Export Director for LINIAN, a family run business established in Scotland in 2006. LINIAN’s mission is to create innovative, UK manufactured, easy to install products that can save time, money and lives. They are working to bring all of their manufacturing back to Scotland. With 70% of their processes taking place inhouse already, they hope that within the next two years, they will manufacture everything domestically.

image-000_2021-03-17-094441.png

THE OPPORTUNITY:

In October 2019, Lynne was at a critical point in her personal development journey as a leader. She was suffering from some confidence issues and was even considering resigning her role within the family company.

At that time, I was going through a bit of a crisis of confidence and as the business was starting to scale quickly, I was doubting my ability to cope with this. The Saltire Leaders Programme gave me lots of tools that essentially gave me my confidence back and what was nice about it is that everybody else on that everyone else on that course, was going through similar emotions.

IMPACT:

Reflecting on her experience in Boston, Lynne comments, “When I left for Babson, we were navigating one of the most business-critical tactical and strategic challenges within our business to date and I think making the commitment to fly out to Boston and ensuring that the team gave me the time and space I needed to complete this course, enabled me to really take a step back from things and see everything more objectively.

Lynne felt that the programme was a really good opportunity for her to see how well rounded she could become as an entrepreneur and opening up about her feelings she admitted that before she left for Boston, she was starting to become a bit of an unintentional controlling leader. Whilst in Boston, Lynne completed a module specifically tailored to supporting entrepreneurs to scale their business for growth and she found this to be ‘immensely eye-opening’ as it made her realise that she was actually doing more harm than good and prohibiting her business from growth.

Since returning from Boston, LINIAN has grown the company workforce to 16, equating to a 276% increase in resource recruited to drive the business forward in 2020. Lynne has also started to lead the team differently and reflecting on this she comments, “One of the strangest things for us was when Coronavirus hit, we involved the team a lot more than we had ever historically done and we were including them in much higher level board conversations because we realised that everybody needed to understand what was going on.”

“Whilst immersed in the entrepreneurial spirit of the experience, it was only then that I was able to realise my value and potential - eradicating the limitations that I had created in my own mind. Since having my son, I was facing a personal struggle daily as I was trying to balance the demands of work with the overwhelming feelings of guilt that I was having for spending time away from my little boy. At one point I was considering leaving the business and moving on to do something else.

“Similarly, we looked to our team for ideas that could add to the strategy that would help us through the impact of the pandemic. This open framework for communication has gone a long way towards improving trust and communication within our organisation.”

Lynne comments, “I was able to tap into direct experience and tease out our strategy with the support of the professors. In doing this I could accurately assess our target market properly; laser target our marketing focus and understand and define our sales process further in order to execute the change. I was also able to tap into their network and managed to get an hour of someone’s time that I would have never otherwise had access to.”

Perhaps the biggest success indicator for Lynne was the impact that the Saltire Leaders Programme has had on her ability to navigate the business through the pandemic. In March earlier this year, Lynne received a letter requesting that she avoid furloughing staff, advising that her products were in high demand to ensure the safety of outlets such as the Nightingale hospitals.

Instead of working with wholesalers (who were unable to trade), they had to pivot at lightning speed to navigate a new direct route to market and as a result of the teams’ entrepreneurial mindset, they managed to launch an e-commerce site in just 6 weeks. Testament to the success of this strategy, LINIAN has increased their turnover by 300% since the beginning of lockdown and Lynne directly attributes this success to the lessons learned as part of her Entrepreneurial Scotland learning experience.

Lynne and her brother Ian have already started to see a succession plan forming for the business with several natural leaders stepping up to assume new responsibilities within the company. Lynne comments, “As well as seeing the people we really wanted to step up make that move, there have been a couple of surprises with unexpected candidates moving forward to become pillars of our business and perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that our mum and dad are now looking to take a much greater step back from the business which is something we have been wrestling with for about four years.”

Lynne feels that had she not taken the ES programme she would have been left behind in her own business. Instead, she has returned with a new invigorated confidence and a strong belief in her ability to lead LINIAN as a business, rather than be an employee within the organisation.

-----

If you would like to talk to Entrepreneurial Scotland about our leadership programmes and how they can benefit your business please email andy.macnicol@entrepreneurialscotland.com