A Coventry man is leaving his mark across the country after spotting a gap in the market and launching his first solo business venture.
Ash Kejriwal held jobs in finance and HR as well as in his family business until deciding in his mid-thirties it was time to go it alone and work for himself.
After receiving some business advice, he launched Lineway UK to provide paints and associated products for road markings and bespoke playground designs.
Ash, aged 37, said: “This business was a completely new territory for me. I had no experience or contacts in the industry. I always wanted to start my own business and I was interested to learn that there’s only a handful of companies in the line marking business supplying paints.
“It seemed like a really interesting project. After 20 months of trading, I have developed some great relationships with my suppliers and customers and things are developing fast.”
Key to Ash’s success so far has been the support received from the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub.
Operating the business from his Coventry home and from a small industrial unit nearby, he needed to raise funds for essential equipment to help take Lineway UK onto the next level.
Linda Savitri from the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub introduced Ash to the Coventry and Warwickshire Investment Fund Programme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is being delivered by Coventry City Council.
He was awarded just over £1,000 from the Coventry and Warwickshire Investment Fund programme, which went towards purchasing a pallet stacker and a spray machine.
Ash added: “The pallet stacker will reduce the health and safety risk as the tins of paints are very heavy and it will also allow us to increase productivity as it’s much faster to do it this way.
“The spray machine I bought for the sole reason of testing the paint and developing new products. I am in the process of developing an anti-slip paint which will help the business as there would be a new product that we would be able to offer. It would open a different market for the business.
“Receiving the grant has helped massively with the cash flow. When you’re a small, start-up company, every single penny counts.
“It has also been good for confidence as well that there is support out there, the Growth Hub is really supportive and understanding towards new businesses.
“That gives us the motivation as well. If you’ve got any issues or need help with something, there is some help there.”
Lineway UK is taking on more members of staff in February as part of plans to expand the business and move from its current unit to a larger warehouse.
Linda Savitri, account manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, said: “Ash has rapidly grown the business from a standing start to where it is today. The grant received will help Lineway UK to continue to grow and develop, and employ more people.
“As well as the practical and sustainable differences the grant has made, it is also allowing Ash to develop new products that will further strengthen his business moving forward.”
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change at Coventry City Council, said: “It’s great to see Ash doing so well. He is ambitious and clearly keen to innovate and grow his company. And I’m really pleased that we were able to support him with a grant to help him to develop and test his new ideas.
“Start-up companies can go on to even greater things and I wish Ash well for the future and look forward to hearing about Lineway’s success.”
The Growth Hub is supported by funders including Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire’s District and Borough Councils.