EY - Irelandwinner

Harry Hughes



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Harry Hughes is the third generation to run Portwest. Founded in 1904 by Harry’s grandfather, the family firm has been through tumultuous times, but has always been able to adapt and evolve. It has turned into a US$196m global company.

Portwest designs and manufactures personal protective equipment, workwear and outdoor leisurewear and employs more than 2,600 people worldwide. Its customers include BP, Mercedes, Staples, B&Q and Manchester United.

Harry says he joined the company because of his “passion for my family business and a drive for rural community development.” This passion has seen Portwest build a factory in rural Bangladesh, employing 1,600 people, and the company employs a further 300 people in rural Ireland.

Harry has ambitious goals for the future, with plans to grow the company by more than 25% each year.