In just under three decades, Damar Industries has gone from being a small, family-run business in Rotorua to a medium-sized company operating across all of New Zealand and into Australia.

Damar started in 1986 when Scott and Bev Thomson bought a paint-manufacturing company with one factory and three retail stores. Over time, they acquired other businesses, such as Aerosol Products, Ecomist, Andrew Chemicals, and Clark Products, which have expanded their manufacturing capability to coatings, chemicals, and aerosols.

Damar services three main markets, including retail (mainly hardware), roadmarking, and commercial contract manufacturing with mainly dangerous good-type products.

Scott and Bev still own the company. As they grew the business, they went from having only a couple of employees in 1986 to just under 200 in 2016. They also hired an experienced executive team, including current CEO Martin Carlyle. Martin, who had worked in executive roles for a number of manufacturing companies, came to the company in 2007 as CFO, and was promoted to CEO in November 2012. “I have a very diverse background, and I think that’s one of the reasons I was offered the CEO role,” Martin says.