Josh Valman is the founder and Managing Director of RPD International, a small business with a global reach. They design, develop and manufacture products for any type of company, large or small, who seek to take advantage of innovative ideas, cutting edge processes and international markets.
Not only is Josh’s company special, the man behind it took a less than conventional route to business success. At 10, he designed his first robot. At 13, he sent off his designs and his £500 life savings to a factory in China to make the components. By 15 he was working as a freelance engineering and supply chain consultant taking conference calls with China after school. No-one, he says, asked his age. Five years later, his company employs over 60 people around the world supplying some of the world’s largest manufacturing businesses from over 100 factories.
RPD operate a global network of people and facilities, making use of the best design minds from heavy and precision engineering to sculptors and artists, and with manufacturers specialising in all manner of areas. This ‘distributed creativity’ model pools all sorts of talent and experience. Josh’s vision is to solve problems from idea to implementation in the best, most innovative, efficient way. The network of factories also means RPD can produce anything from a unique prototype to a run of a million units of anything from a bracket to an engine and for clients from airlines to hotels.
Covering everything from problem-solving to market disruption, manufacturing and supply chain process to R&D and innovation, to the internet of things, wearable technology and the 3D printing revolution, Josh looks at how manufacturing is changing and is changing the world. He tells businesses how they can take advantage of these changes, become more creative, and open up huge potential for growth. He also talks about his unique entrepreneurial journey and the lessons in determination, commerce and success.