Anita van de Vilet discovers how a small family firm was transformed into the UK's biggest indigenous oil-services company.
'I have this corny notion that we, a Scottish company, could be an international force in the oil industry,' says Sir Ian Wood. 'There have been some great Scottish companies over the years, and we want to be one of them.' Wood is chairman, managing director and majority shareholder of the John Wood Group. A lanky, unaffected 52-year-old, he is also Scotland's leading entrepreneur and one of the country's most prominent industrialists. Over the past 30 years he has transformed what was a tiny family business into the UK's biggest indigenous oil-services company. And while the group's modest headquarters on the East Tullos industrial estate in Aberdeen are hardly reminiscent of the palatial splendours associated with the international oil industry, if you look instead at the group's growth record, Wood's dream of leading it into the world league does not seem corny at all.