Martin McVicar is the CEO and Co-founder of Combilift Ltd., a manufacturer of materials handling solutions, with its global HQ based in Co. Monaghan, Ireland. Starting with just a handful of employees in 1998 when Martin established Combilift with Technical Director Robert Moffett, he now heads up a workforce of around 650 and the company exports to more than 85 countries.
Combilift’s unparalleled growth and success in the handling sector is down to the drive, energy and innovation that underpins the company’s - and Martin’s philosophy. Continual investment of 7% of turnover in research and development has enabled Combilift to become the fastest growing global forklift manufacturer, and to always be one step ahead when it comes to designing and supplying safer, space saving, productive and more cost-effective ways to lift and store long and awkward products, palletised loads, containers and oversized goods.
Martin’s career in engineering began when he was just a teenager and his skill and insight over the years in identifying exactly what customers need from handling equipment has resulted in the customised approach to the company’s range of products, over 60,000 of which are now in operation. In spite of the recent constraints of the pandemic, Martin has succeeded in spearheading the company to further growth, with 2021 being the best ever year for sales and orders on record.
Passionate about his roots in Monaghan, Martin is a keen advocate of involving and supporting the local community. He also has a strong commitment to the education and training of future engineers and together with the Monaghan Institute he initiated the OEM in Engineering Traineeship.
Combilift has won dozens of awards for its products, its exporting prowess and management and this is in no small part down to Martin’s tireless ambition for his company to be the absolute top of its game on a global scale. This ambition was already evident in 2001 when he was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the age of just 29.