THE old cliché goes that some of the best ideas have come from a discussion over a pint with a friend in the pub.

Gary Trotter can attest to that.

As co-founder of Hadrian Technology, which provides CCTV design, supply and installation services, he knows a thing or two about turning a vision into reality.

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Mr Trotter had once harboured dreams of working in haematology, but, after coming so close to jobs, including a post at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, his career saw him become a salesman.

Although perhaps not his first choice, he recognised such a livelihood could bring rewards with hard work and determination.

Before long he was channelling an entrepreneurial spirit he’d had since his school days when he sold sweets to his friends and proposed the idea of Hadrian to Stuart Ferguson, saying the pair had complementary skills that could make the business a success.

Previous work for a firm that supplied cash and carry outlets with small security systems, who would then sell them on to customers, gave Mr Trotter his opening.

When that company re-evaluated operations, he decided the time was right to step in and provide something that simplified services for businesses in need of security systems.

All he had to do was convince Mr Ferguson.

“I thought there was a good opportunity to discuss it over a pint and we were sat in the Britannia, in Cleadon Village”, said Mr Trotter.

“It came about over a drink.

“That company was pulling out but from my experience in the market and of these kits, I knew there was an opportunity to sell them.”

When Mr Ferguson agreed, it was a major fillip for Mr Trotter and proof you can succeed even if your apparent first-choice endeavour doesn’t come off.

Referring back to his medical profession ambitions, he said: “When I left South Tyneside College, I was 18 and I wanted to go into haematology.

“But, after a series of interviews, I got a bit frustrated.

“The final straw came when I went for an interview in the blood labs at the Freeman Hospital.

“There were over 600 applicants for two jobs and I was third, I was the first reserve.

“I got home and had my head in my hands asking myself, ‘how close can you get?’”.

Those frustrations are now a thing of the past, however, and Mr Trotter is instead concerned about the growth of Hadrian, which was founded in 1999 and moved from Sunderland to Seaham, east Durham, after running out of space at its previous base.

Known for working with supermarket chain Aldi, as well as Ramside Estates and Tyne and Wear Museums, the company was recently named in The Financial Times’ inaugural ranking of Europe’s fastest-growing businesses, The FT 1000, while it also made The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 list.

Such recognition, said Mr Trotter, is proof of the firm’s ability and its potential.

Although reluctant to reveal too much about its future plans, he said the business will keep driving on to expand and strengthen its market presence.

Mr Trotter added: “The last three years of growth have given us a platform for more.

“We are not going to rest on our laurels, we are going to push on.

“People will be seeing a lot more of Hadrian Technology.

“We are a one-stop shop and have got some really good announcements coming up.”

Five minutes with…Gary Trotter

Favourite North-East building and why? It would have to be Durham Cathedral. The patience that must have been shown in both the architectural design and the build is astonishing.

What was your first job and how much did you get paid? I worked in a couple of sales jobs before setting up Hadrian Technology with Stuart, but I think I’d always been quite entrepreneurial from an early age. When I was at school, I used to sell sweets to my friends. I bought them wholesale from a friend of the family and sold them to earn some extra money.

What is the worst job you've had? Without a doubt, it was a part-time job at the South Shields Gazette, where I worked when I was at college. It was my job to carry the chemicals required for the photography labs up six flights of stairs, without a lift. Sometimes there was so much, it could take me a full two days.

What would you cook for me if I came around for dinner? Fillet steak, to order. I like to make sure it’s cooked perfectly.

What would your superpower be? To be able to fly. It would be the ultimate freedom.

Name four people, dead or alive, who would be at your perfect dinner party: Billy Connolly, for the humour he’d bring to the table; Seve Ballesteros, as I’m a keen golfer; my late mother; and Sir Winston Churchill.

Most expensive thing you've bought - other than car or house - and how much? I’m really not materialistic, so that’s a tough one. I do enjoy holidays with family and friends, that’s my luxury.

Who is the best person to follow on Twitter and why? I don’t use Twitter, so I really wouldn’t know.

What is your favourite book? I don’t really have one. I read all of the time, but never really fiction. I’m constantly reading factual articles and business news, and I enjoy the odd autobiography.

When did you last cry? Saturday.

What is your greatest achievement? It would have to be my family.

What's the best piece of advice in business you've ever been given? The best and most honest piece of advice I’ve ever been given is that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. I cannot emphasise that enough.

Favourite animal and why? A dog, as their love is unconditional.

Most famous person on your mobile phone? I don’t think there is anyone, sorry.

What was the last band you saw live? Nile Rodgers, although I don’t know if you can class him as a band, but he was great.

Describe your perfect night in: Getting ready to go out to the pub - I really don’t like evenings in.

In another life I would be... Still imagining if the grass is greener on the other side. Everyone wants what they can’t have.

Who would play you in a film of your life? I really have no idea. Maybe Yul Brynner, for his engaging performances.

What irritates you? People who can make a difference but choose not to, whether that is in their personal lives, at work or for other people.

What's your secret talent? I’m the best chair dancer between Leeds and the Scottish Borders.