“If I didn’t succeed I would be doing a disservice to my brother”

Founder of Machine Compare, Ben Findlay, talks with MT about how the sudden death of his brother and business partner has shaped him as a leader

by Éilis Cronin
Ben Findlay

Brothers Ben and Eric Findlay had a dream to “revolutionise” the way manufacturing companies source spare parts. After eight long years, the dream was achieved. Machine Compare launched last year and styles itself as an Amazon-like platform that allows manufacturers to buy and sell new, surplus and refurbished spare parts. The database has more than 100,000 users who can search for spare parts by name, type of part, currency, or sellers.

The project was a much needed change; Eric was struggling in a toxic work environment at a well-known travel comparison website and Ben was finding it hard being away from his family while working and travelling. For 17 years, he worked with three major packaging companies in Europe to sell their old machines on to emerging markets. 

He eventually found himself travelling to increasingly dangerous places, including Kharkiv, Ukraine at the height of the first Russo-Ukrainian war in 2014. “There I was sitting in a hotel in my jeans and shirt, surrounded by war correspondents wearing kevlar. I thought to myself, ‘what the fuck am I doing here?’”

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