Angus McNaughton Leishman is the founder and MD of Gent Security Management, which serves prestigious venues and events in Scotland and beyond –with trading having been revived when lockdown restrictions were loosened.
"Since April business has been stronger than ever and we have grown the team and business significantly… Our turnover has been greater since April than it was prior to lockdown. Despite the challenges we have faced, this year has been great for Gent and myself, and the team are looking forward to 2022,” he said.
The firm, which launched in 2016, now has around 35 to 45 security personnel, and has taken on clients such as jeweller Hamilton & Inches, and has worked on Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce events.
Others to have used its services over the years include the likes of pubs Cold Town House, Brewhemia and The Pear Tree in Edinburgh, the Royal Highland Show and the Braemar Gathering, as well as private parties for celebrities and ski resorts in the French Alps.
“We had a very busy November providing security for companies visiting for COP26 both in Edinburgh and Glasgow,” said Mr McNaughton Leishman, who added that Gent was staffing private events until the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 took hold.
He also noted the aim to get the firm’s training academy started in Edinburgh in the new year, helping to plug a “severe” shortage of both general stewards and Security Industry Authority licensed security personnel.
"We are also taking this time to ensure our current clients are well supported and we are looking for further ways to invest in the business, while we are currently looking to invest in defibrillators to carry in our response vehicles to support Edinburgh city centre.
Additionally, while its operations in the French Alps have been hindered by both Brexit and Covid, Gent is still looking to continue this work in the near future.
“We are [additionally] expanding our concierge side of the business, so providing front-of-house security for corporate sites throughout Edinburgh and Scotland more broadly,” Mr McNaughton Leishman said.
"We have also very recently been providing CCTV and surveillance systems to both residential and commercial clients, as I feel this is where things are going with the technology that exists these days, being able to remotely monitor sites from a central base. Our security response service is busy, with venues having a cost-effective service, but still having the back-up of security."
The entrepreneur grew up on a farm in Perthshire, and favoured going into business over academia. In 2020 he turned his attention to the home fitness market after demand for Gent was hampered by the pandemic, launching The Weight Stand Company, selling products such as barbells, plates and dumbbells.
Now, he has other irons in the fire, mulling several other potential business ideas. “I’m always looking at new ventures,” he said.