The subject of this week’s Grill is GRD Franmarine’s managing director Roger Dyhrberg. Cameron Boggs asks the questions.
Tell us about yourself
I am the managing director and principal of Gage Roads Diving (GRD) Franmarine underwater services. I have been in the commercial diving game for 30 years. In fact I think we have held our Lloyd’s class approval for the last 28 years for underwater surveys. As a commercial diving company we specialise in serving the shipping industry.
What are your favourite aspects of the job?
It is a diverse and very interesting job. Because we are basically engineering underwater, every job is different and each job has its own set of challenges due to the location, weather conditions, water temperature and visibility.
Do you still find time to get in the water at work?
No, unfortunately the only thing I get submerged in is paperwork.
How did you get started in the shipping industry?
It was basically a sea change from my point of view. I quit my job and bought a small commercial diving company nearly 30 years ago now. I haven’t looked back since.
What are some career highlights?
We have had a number of highlights along the way. In 2000 we picked up Department of Mines and Petroleum’s Golden Gecko award for sea grass transplantation. And this year we picked up the Department of Fisheries award for innovation in marine biosecurity and just on Thursday (October 9) we were awarded the Golden Gecko award for our new in-water hull cleaning system… and of course we are finalists in the Lloyd’s List Awards 2014 in Asia.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
I don’t know… the company is growing at an astronomical rate. Last year our turnover increased by 30% and the future looks pretty bright for us. Basically, we don’t tend to compete with the other commercial diving companies. We tend to do our own thing and provide very specialised services to the shipping industry – that’s our forte.
Tell us about your family?
My middle son (28) works for me, my daughter (27) is a commercial real estate property manager and my oldest son (29) is a construction supervisor.
What is it like working with one of your sons?
It is good and at times challenging. But he is a good boy and career minded so at the end of the day it is not that difficult.
How do you achieve a work/life balance?
I think part of the trick of that is you’ve got to have defined goals. As you get older you tend to be able to balance things a bit better than when you were younger. When I was younger I was a workaholic, but these days I tend to work sort of 6-7 hours a day which is enough. And I have an extremely good team of people working for me, which is good to have. You have to have that if you want to balance your life.
Do you have any hobbies?
Sailing and rugby union – when I was younger I played rugby union at a fairly high level. I represented Western Australia for three years and played first grade for about 12-14 years. I coached first grade for six years and have been heavily involved in management of the Cottesloe rugby club. I have been heavily involved in the senior management of the club, so that’s one of my primary hobbies. I am also a keen sailor – and diver obviously.