Former McMillan sales and marketing director Gary Langlands has set up a broadcast equipment supplier business in his native Scotland, writes Will Strauss.
The company, Vision Sound and Light, will look to fill the gap left by the closure of McMillan in December by offering Scottish broadcasters and educational establishments broadcast equipment, design, installation and technical support services.

The company, which begins trading this week, is employing 15 people - 12 of whom worked at McMillan - and is based in Arbroath. Langlands hopes to eventually move it to a more central location in Dundee.

Around £500,000 worth of funding for the company has been raised from Langlands' personal equity, bank loans and money from Scottish Enterprise, the economic development agency set up to help business in Scotland.

Although the business will be based roughly on the traditional "reseller" model, Langlands said he had learnt some lessons from what happened to McMillan. "We want to grow the company but not overstretch ourselves," he said. "In fact we'd quite like to underpromise and overdeliver to our clients."

Langland added that he thought McMillan grew too quickly and this adversely affected its trading. He also said that one of the biggest differences between how the new company will be run and the way McMillan was managed will be a major reduction in the amount of time spent on internal administration.

Following McMillan's fall into Scottish administrative receivership, Langlands led a management team in search of a buyout of the company. The move was not taken forward by KPMG, the appointed receiver.

McMillan closed in December with the loss of 140 jobs and debts thought to be close to £2m. The assets are still in the hands of the liquidators (Broadcast, 12.12.03).