Philippine Daily Inquirer

Queen’s double awardee has UK, Manila, HK links

- By Blanche David-Gallardo Contributo­r

DAVID WEIL, CHAIRMAN OF Douglas Equipment, a Cheltenham-based company which this year won two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, can barely contain his excitement.

“I’m very proud of the business,” wrote Weil in a recent email to friends, “and having the opportunit­y to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace in July is a great honor.”

David Weil is a Hong Kongbased entreprene­ur whose widely diverse business interests range from manufactur­ing in China and the UK, warehouse distributi­on in Europe, retailing in the Philippine­s and a drag racing team in Holland.

Eight years ago, he acquired Douglas Equipment, a flagging 60-year-old British manufactur­er of specialize­d aviation equipment employing 130 people. The company has not only since turned around, but caps its business success this year by winning two of UK’s most prestigiou­s and highly coveted industry awards, given annually by Her Majesty the Queen, for the highest levels of excellence in three categories: Innovation, Internatio­nal Trade and Sustainabl­e Developmen­t. Douglas Equipment’s awards are in the categories of Innovation and Internatio­nal Trade and recognizes the company’s outstandin­g achievemen­t in overseas sales and company revenues, which underscore six years of continuous growth in the face of the global economic crisis.

Products

Douglas Equipment products range from high-tech tractors that can tow a 650-ton Airbus A380, to ground-handling equipment for helicopter­s, and machines that measure the dan- ger of skidding on aircraft runways. A number of their products have received star billing in such James Bond films as “Casino Royale,” and more recently, in the TV and magazine production, “Top Gear.”

Weil’s business interests in the Philippine­s include agency representa­tion and sales of various internatio­nal chocolate brands. His crack team works proudly with the Department of Tourism’s retail arm, Duty Free Philippine­s.

Born in Chicago and raised in Hong Kong, Weil holds only a German passport as a reminder of the struggle and hardship his family went through when his Jewish grandfathe­r escaped Nazi Germany’s persecutio­n duringWorl­dWar II. He attended British primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong, then went on to Kelly College in Tavistock Devon, England for higher education. Weil is a self- confessed Anglophile, passionate about promoting British interests and manufactur­ing. He is married to his childhood friend, a British national of Filipino parentage and a graphic designer who, at the time of this article, is doing work with the National Gallery in London.

The Weils spend a quarter of their time throughout the year in the UK and are frequent visitors to Manila, but they base themselves primarily in Hong Kong where he continues to look forways to promote British industry, something which he looks at as a particular challenge. The couple travels extensivel­y for business and pleasure and take time out to visit remote locations in Tibet, Bhutan, Indonesia, the Philippine­s and Sri Lanka.

They expect to be back in the UK in Julywhere David is due to receive the awards from the Queen on July 19.

 ??  ?? DAVID and CaraWeil
DAVID and CaraWeil

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