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Jason Oliver

Jason Oliver on creating a constructive family business

By Jason Oliver

Director, Global Ceramic Tiling

In a modern 20s whirlwind world of technology, it can be easy to forget that traditional etiquette is still very much the foundation for good business management.

Classic, steadfast business techniques, underpinned by strong family values, have seen Global Ceramic Tiling grow to be one of the South’s largest tiling contractors.

Good relationships, understanding client needs, excellent customer service, and 25 years of experience have enabled Director Jason Oliver to build an unrivalled reputation and work with some of the best-known names in the construction industry.

The avid Southampton Football Club fan talks to us about how the company has humbly grown to over three million pounds in turnover, whilst retaining its familial culture.

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Your wife Karen is also a Director of Global Ceramic Tiling. What are the benefits of having such strong family connections within the business?

From a family point of view, it definitely benefits us because she understands what is involved in the business; the unique complexities, the pressures and stresses.

Within the business, it creates a family feel which really works for us and our team.

Talk to us about your work with apprentices

We took on our first apprentice in 2001 and he's still with us now. Thereon, we continued taking on apprentices. The industry needs this. It is something we believe we need to keep trying to encourage and bring through great people. It’s important to us for the business to have a purpose beyond profit.

How has the construction industry evolved during the lifespan of Global Ceramic Tiles?

Things have become a lot more professional and the industry has become safer, that is a definite improvement.

We've also seen a massive change in trends with tiles with sizes changing and tiles being designed in response to demand and varied tastes.

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"The Old Bond Store building is amazing, the way it’s been finished and the décor. They’ve kept a lot of original features yet modernised it."

How do you feel about the construction industry at the moment?

I think the government made a great decision with the stamp duty which should help the housing market keep moving, but I definitely think there’s going to be some projects put on hold. Prices are going to become tight so profit is going to be hard to come by. So, there are definitely some tough times ahead. We haven’t seen the worst of it from an economic point of view.

Do you have a proudest moment in your company’s history?

Probably looking back, the proudest moment is having the guts to go and do it. We were young to do what we did at the time and it was quite a brave move.

I’m really proud of everyone who works for me and most recently of how the team pulled together in lockdown to raise some money for the NHS and the local Children’s Cancer ward. It showed the team spirit and the culture within the company and made me realise we are on the right journey.

You started the company when you were just 27, looking back now is there any advice that you would give to your younger self?

I think possibly be braver, believe in yourself more, and set yourself some goals.

As someone who has an intrinsic understanding of renovations, what appeals to you about the Old Bond Store?

The building is amazing, the way it’s been finished and the décor. They’ve kept a lot of original features, yet modernised it.

For me it means I can go and work on the business, not in it. It enables me to get away from my office for a morning a week, or a couple of hours where I can work on things that need to be worked on.

Who is your business inspiration?

Other business leaders, people like Alan Sugar and Richard Branson. I just admire what they’ve done and what they’ve achieved. They show that things can be done and achieved.

"Things have become a lot more professional (in construction). The industry has become safer; that has definitely improved."

Jason Oliver, Global Ceramic Tiling