Sanipex’s European sales manager left a life in the army to become an estate agent in Spain, which set him on a path for a career in first kitchen and then bathroom sales
Sanipex’s European sales manager Liam Oxley is a familiar face in the KBB industry, having worked for businesses, including Caesarstone, Merlyn and Majestic Showering before joining the Leeds-based manufacturer in 2017.
While his career so far in kitchen and bathroom sales has been straightforward, albeit very successful, it was his life before joining the KBB industry that has shaped and driven him the most.
Few know it, but after spending his teenage years living in Spain with his family, Liam returned to the UK to join the army. Passing out after six months and awarded best shot, he was based in Shropshire and Germany, rising to the rank of lance corporal.
Hit by injury, Liam underwent an operation that had almost catastrophic consequences and meant his time in the army was cut short. “It was pretty traumatic,” remembers Liam. “The surgeon cut through an artery and the army had to fly my parents over, as they thought I wasn’t going to make it.”
On discharge, Liam returned to Spain, where he put his love of the country’s language, culture and lifestyle to effective use as an estate agent. Little did he know that this was where Liam would cement his career in the KBB industry.
“I was selling everything from one-off houses to a full block of apartments, presenting the concepts and plans and providing a translation service for English customers looking to buy a property,” he explains.
Eventually returning to the UK, Liam joined CR Laurence distributing Caesarstone surfaces, calling on kitchen retailers across the UK and Ireland, before moving down south to work for Merlyn Showers. “I looked after contractors and national merchants, before moving north again to take on the role of regional sales manager, visiting merchants and retailers,” Liam explains.
After a short spell with Majestic Showers, Liam joined Sanipex UK and is now the company’s European sales manager (wholesale and project). “When I got the call with the opportunity to work for Sanipex, I couldn’t turn it down,” comments Liam. “I could see a career and progression within the company. The product range is exciting and I’m eager to help the business grow and to introduce new customers to the company and its brands.
“A big part of this is having a presence at industry shows, with kbb Birmingham being the most important one outside of Europe. Sanipex will, of course, have a whole host of new products and ideas to introduce visitors to, but it is also an important networking event and a chance to stand back and see what trends are emerging and what way the market is going.
“I’m looking forward to it.”