It seems people and product are what drives Alex Pataky, our Managing Director to success. With over 30 years experience in this industry, he’s seen many ups and downs and has survived them all. He has many stories to tell and can recall almost every opening roof he’s built within the greater Sydney area – that’s because he takes great pride in engaging with his customers to gain a deep understanding of their needs. This is a practice that he’s passed onto his team who design and deliver premium opening roof systems that transform not only their outdoor space but their lifestyle as well. Check out our interview with Alex below.
1. What was your first ever job?
While still at school I was asked to look after a Squash Court Complex while the owners went to a family function. I was then asked to fill in for them whenever they wanted a night off. It was a casual arrangement and it was great to receive something other than from my family. I was probably only fifteen or sixteen at the time. Shortly after this, at the young age of just seventeen years old following the untimely death of my father, I found myself the Managing Director of our family manufacturing business. As I reflect, I am proud of all my achievements in business to date and enjoy the many challenges that are yet to come.
2. How long have you worked within the industry?
I founded Opening Roof Specialists in October 1987 a week before the stock market crash of that year. The company was then called Steelbond (Sydney) and was involved in Colorbond house cladding. Within two years, we joined forced with Vergola and looked after the sales and installation of Vergolas in the southern half of Sydney. I was later drawn to the innovative and sleek design of the Eclipse Opening Roof brand and as such, we became their largest distributor in Australia – which we remain some 25 years on. So, we have been designing and supplying opening roof systems since 1989, which I believe makes us the best in the business.
3. What are you most proud of as Managing Director of Opening Roof Specialists?
As a company, I’m immensely proud and grateful for our loyal and enthusiastic staff. From our office team, our design consultants through to our construction crew – they are all incredibly customer-focussed and committed to delivering top quality service. We often receive letters/emails from owners complimenting the team on a wonderful experience it was dealing with the team from Opening Roof Specialists. I’m also very proud of our long association with Eclipse Opening Roof and how after more than twenty five years we can still service the first opening roof we ever built. This is a great demonstration of the superior quality of our product and our people.
4. What are the biggest challenges you face in business today?
One of the biggest challenges I believe we face in today’s world is the increasing bureaucratic involvement for simple projects around a person’s home. It can contribute to an inordinate expense to projects such as ours. However, as a business we are committed to compliance and quality and are proud to be a long standing member of the Master Builders Association. Another challenge is the changing technology and the customer’s desire to be up to date with the latest trends, balanced with the need to keep it simple. It’s for this reason that we align ourselves with the market leaders in automation to stay ahead of emerging trends and technologies that we can provide to our customers.
5. What’s been your most memorable project to work on?
There’s so many! One highlight would definitely be The Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia where all materials and tools had to be packed and shipped to Cambodia and then our team travelled from Sydney to Cambodia to assist in the on-site installation. This project presented many logistical challenges which we successfully worked through to design and build an opening roof system that exceeded expectations. Another memorable project would have to be the 240 sq metre opening roof system at the Rouse Hill Town Centre. This was another large-scale commercial project that we successfully designed and delivered. We are also regularly being asked to incorporate opening roofs into homes during the building process. More recently, we have concentrated on technology and have developed our new motor assembly which is all manufactured here in Australia. And of course, I have a great feeling of pride and satisfaction when we complete a project and it makes an immeasurable difference to the lifestyle of the owner as well as the usability of their home.
6. If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you spend it?
Now that’s an interesting question – an extra hour a day means an extra day a week – wow! I think I’d try to organise my collection of photos and then get out and travel around to take some more! I’d also like to find more time to spend with my four beautiful grandchildren.
7. What does the future hold for Opening Roof Specialists?
Having relocated in October 2017 to a new facility here at Minto, it enables us to accommodate additional expansion and also to grow our product range to include complementary products such as outdoor screens and heaters. As I alluded to earlier, the age of emerging trends in technology make it a very exciting time to be in our industry.
To celebrate the relaunch of the ORS Blog, we are offering FREE LIGHTS to all opening roof systems ordered before the end of April 2019. Call us now to book your free site visit and consultation with one of our expert Design Consultants.
T: 8708 1500