16 November 2012
THE Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) and Sage One accounts Senior Entrepreneur of the Year competition has been won for 2012 by Malvern inventor and entrepreneur Malcolm Victory for his invention, the Rotaire Dryline. He won the “Best Product of the Year” category, the other categories being “Online Product of the Year” and “Best Service of the Year”. From these three winners one supreme Entrepreneur of the Year will be chosen at the Award ceremony taking place during the International Senior Enterprise and Mentoring Conference at the BT centre in Central London.
The Rotaire Dryline is an invention to take the stress out of drying clothes outdoors, by simply covering a rotary airer to make a kind of skirted umbrella, saving energy and thereby saving money. “I am highly honoured to have been awarded this accolade,” he said “though I never expected to win it. It makes me very humble to be seen as a role model for mature entrepreneurs, especially with such an energy saving Green product. However, I am still amazed that there are several million rotary washing lines out in British weather without a cover to keep the rain off! Why would people do that? It is really taking optimism too far.” The Rotaire Dryline can be seen and purchased at www.rotaire.com.
The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise assists people over 50 to pursue new initiatives and employ their life skills in new directions. The website has a vast archive of help to set up business and keep track of the enterprise, with over 1700 pages of information, online calculators for tax and other financial issues. The sponsor, Sage, makes the industry standard accounting package for business, and have generously given a £500 cash prize to each of the winners.
Best New Product
Malcolm Victory – The Rotaire DrylIne
Malcolm Victory, 61 Years old from Malvern, spent his entire life working in graphics and design, but like so many others in the UK he had never put money aside for his retirement.
In his early fifties, Malcolm decided to take decisive action to ensure that he was financially stable later in life. Putting his design skills to good use, Malcolm came up with an invention that was so simple, so effective and so widely applicable that he decided to stake everything on it. Malcolm says, “It was so blindingly obvious that I felt I could rely on my invention for my pension – which I had never saved for.”
The Rotaire Dryline, as it became known, is a rain cover for a rotary washing line and the laundry hung upon it. Malcolm’s product was borne out of thinking about a simple, cost effective solution to the age old problem of English weather ruining the ability to dry clothes outside. Thanks to the waterproof cover of the Rotaire Dryline and the ingenious mesh skirt which traps sideways rain, users can hang out the laundry whatever the weather is going to do.
Malcolm realised that his product could be aligned with his passion for energy saving, “as a member of the Green Party it was important that I created a product that I believed in”. His research into the feasibility of the Rotaire Dryline proved that by not using a tumble dryer, 10.6 million KwH of electricity and 4.56 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved in the UK alone. Not only saving energy, Malcolm soon realised that the cost savings of the product to the UK consumer would be huge and could offer a pay-back in about six months.
With a unique, energy friendly and cost effective product, Malcolm patented the Rotaire Dryline within the UK, US and EU. “It is currently the only viable product in this field and people keep asking me why it was not invented before.” Malcolm then set about understanding the ‘business basics’ needed to make his product a commercial success.
Malcolm equipped himself with a business plan, marketing knowledge and an accountant and began to see sales come in through his website www.rotaire.com which to date have reached over 5000 units. Achieving great customer feedback on his website, clients of the Dryline comment that they think the product is a superior, simple and a cheap alternative to tumble dryers.
There are big plans for the future of the Rotaire Dryline. Malcolm says, “I am in talks with a property development company to install the Dryline in Housing Association premises and new-build houses.” Further Malcolm also has his sights set on expansion outside of the UK, “I have only sold small numbers abroad, Ireland is proving a very good market and I will set up distribution there, and I hope to sell into the continental EU and US markets as cash flow increases.”