Former Rolls-Royce apprentice Bob James launched his aircraft services firm AerFin in 2010 at the height of the financial crisis.
The engineer-turned-entrepreneur understood that airlines and other owners of aircraft would struggle to raise finance during the recession, and focused his start-up on dismantling old planes, buying and selling distressed assets, and taking apart unwanted engines.
Last year, AerFin was crowned the fastest-growing business in Wales, with revenues soaring 1044pc between 2013 and 2015.
The Cardiff-based firm operates all over the world, and customers include British Airways and Cathay Pacific.
AerFin’s services mean that it needs many skilled engineers and to meet this demand it taps into the skilled pool of armed forces talent, often hiring former Army and RAF technicians. “They tend to be very experienced and capable,” says James.
“They are also able to handle themselves in challenging situations, which we have to deal with from time to time.”
After riots broke out in Egypt, for example, AerFin was on the ground dismantling a plane in Cairo airport - a job that had to be executed extremely quickly amid the mounting violence.Backing Business Ambition 2017