Q&A with Mel Pipe, Joint Owner / Director at Elite Universal

Mel Pipe, Joint Owner / Director at Elite Universal, gives his answers in a Q&A style interview, providing insight into both his work-life and home-life.

Q : You’re a relatively new business owner with Elite Universal being only 2 years old. How have you found the step up from management level to owner?

A: “When I look at it now, you can probably say with relative ease, but I was extremely nervous. It’s quite a daunting step but thank the support of family, business partner Lee, customers and staff. Without them it would have been very different I’m sure. I don’t think I’ve changed at all but guess you need to ask afore mentioned that for an unbiased answer!”

Q: How are you as an owner? What’s your style?

A: “Relaxed, easy going, open and honest. Does that sound good!? No, honestly that’s how I am. With our staff, I’m happy to authorise any special requests they may have or favours they may need. With our customers, the same. I want to go above and beyond for all, however if it’s not reciprocal then it will be remembered!” 

Q: What are your main aims for the business in the future?

A: “Well with naming the business ‘Elite’, we want to be one of the best. To do this, the key is our staff, set up and structure. Lee and I have always wanted to build a team that will rival any freight forwarder and from our clients feedback, we’re successful in our mission to date. Ultimately though, the main aim is to be extremely successful. Lee and I have seen in our 40 years of experience in the industry of how to do it and recently, how not to do it. We know we have what it takes to succeed and have the passion and drive to ensure it happens.”

Q: Away from work, what excites you and is important in life?

A: “I’m a keen golfer but having played for over 30 years now I wouldn’t say it excites me. It frustrates the hell out of me to be honest and certainly have a love hate relationship with the game! I love my Horse Racing. I love a punt and the two go hand in hand so I do try to get to as many big race meetings I can each year but Covid has curtailed this so far. I’ve supported Crystal Palace Football Club since 1990, went to FA Cup Final when we drew 3-3 with Man Utd. A bit like golf, you have to enjoy the good times as the bad shots / results are never far away. But most importantly, it has to be my family and living a life that you can look back on knowing you enjoyed. A happy wife and daughters are a must, so always devote time to my girls…..even if I do get outnumbered and outvoted on most things! My Dad and Sister are always there for me and I always have my late Mum in my thoughts, making them all proud is so important.”