Loughborough Alumni

Our alumni

Mark Wardle

Managing Director: The Wardle Group Ltd

Mark Wardle graduated with a degree in Creative Design in 1979. With a lot of determination, Mark formed The Wardle Group Ltd, which is now a global manufacturer of unique insulated tools.

Why did you choose to study Creative Design at Loughborough University?

Like most of us at that time, I applied to a few places but Loughborough really stood out for me. From that first interview it was a clear that the team wanted me to achieve and succeed. I was amazed that I got accepted into Loughborough – everyone said I’d fail. I was determined to prove them wrong and I am thankful to the tutors who believed in me and gave me a shot.

How has Loughborough University inspired you and helped you to progress in your career?

It all started with the coaching, mentoring and motivating I got at Loughborough – not just from the tutors but also from the new friends and peers I was making.

To this day I always think of those guys and the break they gave me.

The years at Loughborough taught me discipline and focus. Here I learnt that presentation is everything, the importance of the deadline and always have the highest possible standards.

Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students?

Getting a place at Loughborough was so amazing. I felt so privileged. It was an honour to be there.

Take this privilege and honour and use it every day of your life.

If you want something then go for it, be totally obsessed, focussed, committed, and dedicated.

Can you tell us more about the company/organisation you are working for currently?

We have a multi-national business that manufactures in Great Britain and sells all over the world. You name the country and we’ve sold there and got men on the ground there.

The Wardle Group Ltd is a global player sales and marketing business. We help manufacturers sell their products all over the world. We are specialists in sales of exported products into international markets.

Insulated Tools Ltd (ITL) a ‘The Wardle Group’ company is the market leading manufacturer of unique insulated tools. ITL sales are growing at an unprecedented rate. Operations are continually expanding to meet increasing market demand. Overall ITL sales worldwide are up by 32% on last year.

Profits are being reinvested into the business in the form of new plant and equipment. New CNC machines, touch screen technology and greater automation are driving productivity upward and giving us the capability to service an increasingly competitive market.

What do you love most about being MD of Insulated Tools Ltd?

Growing the team and watching young people develop whilst creating the innovation and being the leader in our market. I also love driving the company across the globe and into new geographies and markets.

I’m a salesman through and through, the best is being out there, making the sales calls and winning new business.

How does Insulated Tools Ltd fit into The Wardle Group?

The Wardle Group has a consortium of experienced Sales & Marketing professionals. Some are seasoned veterans who I’ve worked with for decades. This team has added the ‘sizzle’ into ITL and created a brand imagery and perception that’s given us the success we have today.

As we have progressed we’ve transitioned into one team, a selling machine. The Wardle Group’s and ITL’s customers are one and the same.

We are bringing new, young talent into the business. This is stimulating growth for all parties as we win new clients for The Wardle Group and new markets for ITL.

Can you tell us about your career journey so far?

Growing up or being snatched up, in a hardware shop, as I did – childhood was tough. I didn’t work that hard at school and so I had to work in the hardware store. My parents were adamant that I should stay in Stoke-on-Trent but I had other ideas and was determined to get away and make something of myself.

Over the years that followed there were many trials and tribulations. I was knocked down many times but kept getting back up.

I went from schoolteacher to the very top of corporate life as a hot shot salesman and International Negotiator with Stanley Tools. Then I walked away from all that to form The Wardle Group. We now have many clients, associates and colleagues and the formidable, marvellous Insulated Tools Ltd, a global, world class player.

Over a glass of wine, I often say to my wife ‘how did we do this?’ Hard work, lots of sales calls and a great start from Loughborough.

There’s a lot more to do and we are building a legacy a brand with global reach.

What does the future hold for you?

I’m proud of the past and focused on our future.

We have a plan that takes us to 2021. It’s vital that a business has strong financial control as well as clarity of offer to the market.

The plans we have in place include investment in people as well as state of the art technology. We have an apprentice programme and a policy of bringing in new team members.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

From standing up in front of the guys and presenting the latest stuff to ‘pitching’ at a show in far flung places. Even taking a new American customer to The Houses of Parliament showing him how Great Britain is truly great.

We are very proud of what we have done and continue to do.

+44(0)1509 228497

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Loughborough University
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