Meet the Team

Management Team

Allan Lock

Allan Lock

Chief Executive Officer

 

Getting to know…
Paul Gerrard

Paul Gerrard

Sales Director

 

Getting to know…
Jagath De Alwis

Jagath De Alwis

Finance Director

 

Getting to know…
Alec Smith

Alec Smith

Services Director

 

Getting to know…

Getting to know Allan

Providing products for big names is something our Chief Executive Allan knew well, even before he joined Incodia in 2019.

With a long career in the packaging sector, Allan has an impressive CV leading companies which work with big names like Mars, Nestle, Birds Eye and McCain.

His previous role as Managing Director of the Consumer Packaging Division of Mondi Group, a FTSE 100 company, meant he joined Incodia with lots to give: “Incodia has been a fantastic opportunity to apply the strategic and operation experience I’ve gained. I arrived shortly before the pandemic, so the last 18 months have been a little different! However, our team has risen to the occasion and we’ve come through with an even clearer vision and appreciation of what we do well.”

Heading up Incodia, Allan is responsible for not only the day-to-day management of the company but also its future direction and aspirations: “We’re proud of the leadership we demonstrate in the gift, loyalty and membership card sector and very excited about our new position in the FMCG packaging sector. It’s an honour to be able to supply so many leading names and we know investment in innovation, technology and people is what keeps us ahead.”

Since taking the helm and negotiating the challenges of the pandemic, Allan has overseen the establishment of a new area of the business providing quality outer packaging for food and toiletries. Allan began his career in the Royal Navy and is a strong advocate for the promotion of opportunities for ex-service personnel.

Outside of work, Allan is a family man and a keen rugby fan, with a particular passion for supporting his native Wales.

However, you may be most likely to spot him pedalling around his home county of Cambridgeshire:

“It’s a great county and, as an avid cyclist, there’s few better places to get out and explore. I’m always discovering new routes and picturesque countryside right on my doorstep!”

Getting to know Paul

For over 23 years, our Sales Director Paul has been one of the building blocks of our success.Joining us back in 1998, he rose to Director of Retail Sales with CPI Card Group before becoming Sales Director of the newly independent and rebranded Incodia.

Whilst much has changed, Paul feels the fundamentals are the same: “On one hand, it’s amazing to think of all the things which have evolved and developed in my two decades. On the other, it’s reassuring to see that it’s our commitment to doing a great job for our clients which has been the constant throughout.”

Paul always hoped to be a highflyer, beginning his career as an Aerospace Insurance Broker for Willis. His move to CPI Group saw him swap aircraft for brands and retailers, as he led retail sales and Incodia became the UK’s largest suppliers of gift, loyalty and membership cards.

Today, Paul oversees all thing sales, marketing and design, as well as being a key member of the executive board.

Though our products and the way we produce them is ever evolving and developing, Paul believes the needs of our clients are again consistent: “Brands, retailers and membership organisations want cards and carriers which stand-out, excite their customers, promote loyalty and deliver revenue. Our trade partners want value, great service and unwavering quality. We’ve got where we are by never losing sight of both.”

In recent months, Paul has established our new division providing quality packaging for food and toiletries, beginning with an exciting contract to provide outer packaging for a growing premium confectionary brand.

Outside work, family-man Paul puts the flecks of grey in his hair down to being an avid supporter of Ipswich Town Football Club!

Also a frustrated golfer, he has more recently discovered photography and videography and can often be found whiling away an evening editing his latest tour de force!

Getting to know Jag

 Jag has been at the company since 2006. Prior to joining, Jag was a Finance Manager at FMCG Management Consultant at KPMG and Senior Auditor at Ernst & Young.

Alongside driving performance and strategic direction, Jag is responsible for producing and filing UK statutory accounts, along with other financial duties and leading the UK finance team.

Outside of work, Jag lives on the Suffolk/Essex border with his family, a keen follower of Cricket, specifically the Sri Lankan Team. Jag also likes to practice his skills in the kitchen, with his famous De-Alwis Sri Lankan curry!!

Getting to know Alec

Alec has been with Incodia since 2009, and prior to that worked for Tesco for nearly eight years. As Services Director and Data Protection Officer he is responsible for HR, IT, Customer Service and Quality functions, maintaining legal compliance and the plethora of accreditations Incodia holds.

‘It’s a privilege to be leader for a diverse range of technical functions with a great team working for me. It gives me great satisfaction that so many of our team have developed internally within Incodia and are responsible for the success of the business and deep integration and trust we hold with our customers to deliver complex and often technically challenging products and services with minimal drama’. ‘I’m looking forward to expanding our excellent product and service offering within packaging as well as continuing to maintain the blue-chip clients and brands that we work with currently, and continue to see the market mature, having seen changes from sig panels and plastic to board and (QR) barcodes over the years. Whatever challenges our customers present us, we find a solution with them’

Away from Incodia much of his time is spent taxiing his three boys to football and other activities. When time allows, he enjoys cooking, technology along with a love of different cultures and cuisine, travel, and nature.

Sales Team

Adam Branch

Adam Branch

BDM – Packaging

 

Getting to know…
Ajay Sethi

Ajay Sethi

Head of Business Development

 

Getting to know…
Craig Brent

Craig Brent

Sales

 

Getting to know…
Ian Jones

Ian Jones

Sales

 

Getting to know…

Getting to know Adam

Adam and his colleagues work with a growing base of trade partners, providing in excess of 100 million cards each year for gift, loyalty and membership programmes.
“Cards are both a commodity and a way for businesses to add value for their customers. The former demands quality and value, whilst the latter benefits from our experience and creative support. It’s nice having a foot in both camps!”
Outside of work, Adam is kept busy by his two children and a new addition to the branch household:
“As we were at home so much, we decided to get Otto, our mini-dachshund puppy! My days now often begin with the smell of dog food and a brisk walk around the block”
With his fondness for socialising and going to the gym hampered by the pandemic, Adam has embraced the view that ‘dining-in’ is the new ‘dining-out’ with a sophisticated new BBQ on which to cook the perfect steak!

Getting to know Ajay

“It’s a pleasure to be bringing my experience to the UK’s leading supplier of cards. I’m excited about the breadth and depth of retailers and brands they work with and finding many more that we can support” says Ajay.

No stranger to industry leading organisations, Ajay joins Incodia from EML Payments and previously PrePay Solutions, Europe’s leading processor and issuer of Gift and Payment cards. Prior to that, he directly managed gift card programmes for retailer House of Fraser.

Ajay has helped deliver and grow some of the largest and most successful gift card programmes in Europe, which continue to drive sales for retailers and other partners.

Ajay says “Gift cards have the ability to delight both when they’re received and when they’re being used. There are many ways Incodia have already enhanced that experience, such as a their ‘Gift for Now, Gift for Later’, and there are many ways we can continue to innovate.”

In his role as Head of Business Development, Ajay is set to work collaboratively with existing customers to bring added value to their offerings. During his time in the industry he has helped launch hundreds of new programmes including gift, employee incentive & reward, refund, promotional and loyalty schemes.

“Even with many colleagues working from home, Incodia is clearly a family, with clients who have relied upon them for years, in some instances decades. In this moment of global change, I’m really looking forward to rolling my sleeves up and working with our customers to innovate and grow” concludes Ajay.

Father of one Ajay lives in Essex and has particularly enjoyed a return to playing tennis and watching Liverpool FC as lockdown has eased. An active fundraiser with his local Round Table, Ajay has also previously served on the board of the Gift Card and Voucher Association (GCVA) for four years.

Paul Gerrard, Sales Director for Incodia said “Ajay’s an important appointment due to the sheer knowledge and experience he brings. At Incodia, we are dedicated to being at the forefront of both service and innovation for the card sector and his role is pivotal in helping our clients get more from gift, loyalty and membership schemes.”

Getting to know Craig

Getting to know Craig Brent, our Account Manager, based in our Colchester location.

Craig is currently in his 24th year with Incodia and works within the Retail Sales team. He manages some of our well established clients.

Craig has a vast knowledge of gift cards and the industry and has seen many changes over the years he has been with us. Previously Craig has worked in Customer service and was also CS Manager for our Colchester site for a various amount of years before the progression in to his current role as Account Manager.

“I have seen many changes in the industry over the years and with my understanding of being on both sides of a sales and operational platform, this has given me the knowledge to service and provide an excellent level of ‘know how’ to our many clients. Seeing how both processes works gives me a wealth of details which I can pass on to clients and enhance their ‘customer experience’ with us”.

Outside of work, Craig enjoys playing and watching football, along with being a keen follower of the NFL. He also likes to socialise with friends, and partake in many a DIY project to enhance his and his friends’ homes. When the laptop goes down for the week, out come the hammer and nails.

Craig is also very family focused and spends time with his wife and two daughters, more recently taking up weekend ‘breakfast egg duties’ during the pandemic.

Getting to know Ian

Getting to know CIan Jones, based in our Colchester location.

After 32 years in the card industry, it’s fair to say Ian has an excellent understanding of our trade partners and their needs.
Ian joined Incodia 23 years ago and is a key member of our Trade Sales team based in Colchester. He works closely with trade partners who provide their own customers with printed materials and other services, including cards and carriers produced by Incodia.
From concept to implementation, Ian often works with both our trade partners and their clients to turn a great idea into a gift, loyalty or membership card programme that delivers added benefits.
“The trade is a no-nonsense area where they need quality, service and value to pass on to their own customers. I have relationships with some trade partners stretching back to my first week at Incodia in 1998! Though we often remain in the background, it’s really rewarding being able to support our partners and deliver that something extra their clients really appreciate.”
After almost 25 years with Incodia, you’d be forgiven for thinking Ian’s knows everything about cards – but Ian himself says there is always new options to explore:
“No industry stands still and we keep learning and evolving too. One positive from the pandemic is that it has accelerated innovation which we’re really keen to deliver for our trade clients and their customers.”
Outside of work, Ian is married with two daughters. He likes to keep fit in his home gym and still has dreams of stardom whilst playing his guitar and writing music.
However, both playing Wembley and achieving the body-beautiful may have to wait, as any successes are often rewarded with a speciality beer from his beer machine!

David Mackay

David Mackay

Strategic Account Manager

 

Getting to know…
Karen Warner

Karen Warner

Strategic Account Manager

 

Getting to know…
Merituuli Vaatainen

Merituuli Vaatainen

Account Manager

 

Getting to know…

About David

After 20 years with Incodia, there are few people who understand gift, loyalty and membership card programmes – and how to make them a roaring success – as much as David.

Joining Incodia as the new century began, David’s expertise as a Senior Customer Services representative quickly led to him leading our Customer Services Team in Colchester.

With his knowledge and experience building, he became our Technical Commercial Manager, heading up our reprographics and estimating teams and playing a key part in product development.

However, his passion for supporting clients never dwindled and – keen to utilise his skills and knowledge more directly with customers – he was promoted to his current role.

Now a Strategic Account Manager, David supports some of our highest profile retail clients – many of whom are a common sight on high streets and in shopping centres across the UK and beyond.

“At Incodia – and CPI Card Group as we were previously known – it’s our reputation that has always mattered most. Retailers want quality cards which look great, arrive on-time and in-full, and help drive sales. Twenty years may have passed since I first joined, but it’s our reputation for delivering just that which is more valued by our clients than ever”

When he’s not supporting our customers, David enjoys watching football. Though this is often from the comfort of his sofa, David is increasingly likely be seen on the sidelines of a local pitch, cheering on his son and the under 11’s team he helps to coach.

With lockdown restrictions eased, David is particularly looking forward to the resumption of gigs and comedy nights and travelling into the capital to enjoy a West End show.

About Karen

After 14 years with Incodia, it’s no wonder both colleagues and clients turn to Karen for her expertise when it comes to cards, carriers and payment programmes!

Based at our operations in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, Karen is a key member of our sales and marketing team.

Karen began by leading our customer service team – both supporting clients and helping her colleagues to deliver great customer care too.

Her outstanding support led to Karen’s promotion to her current role as Strategic Account Manager. Karen is the primary point of contact and account manager for a number of high-profile and long-standing clients in retail and payment cards. She provides everything they need from support to advice and ideas. Whatever they need, Karen ensures it’s supplied in full and on time.

“The best feeling comes from helping a client turn great ideas into something fresh and exciting! To see a client’s cards or card programme in stores, or in consumers’ purses and wallets, is very rewarding. It makes people want to shop!”

Helping retailers and brands is something close to Karen’s heart as she’s an avid shopper! Sadly, along with travelling and dining out, it’s not always been possible during the pandemic – which may explain her growing love of cooking!

Outside of work, Karen also enjoys health and fitness – often assisted by her two dogs Ralph and Betty who like nothing more than walking for miles. It also gives her a chance to indulge her interest in photography.

About Merituuli

Merituuli – better known to her friends and colleagues as ‘Meri’ – puts most of us to shame by being able to speak an amazing six different languages!

As well as English and her native Finnish, she can speak Swedish and Spanish – and is currently perfecting her Portuguese and Russian!

Meri was born in Finland. Her name, Merituuli, actually means ‘Sea Breeze’ – apt as the southerly sea breeze often brings warmer weather to her hometown.

Meri came to the UK to study management and (yes, you guessed it!) languages at University, during which she also spent a year in Madrid. She achieved both a BA and MSc before joining Incodia in 2016.

Initially working in office admin and customer service, it wasn’t long before both her management and language skills shone through. For the last two years she has been an Account Manager, looking after a number of key relationships with our trade partners across Europe.

“Incodia were so welcoming and it wasn’t long before my experience came in useful supporting our partners across the continent. Most choose to speak English but really appreciate my language skills and empathy. I’ve even started getting the hang of the Essex accent!”

Meri shares her family name with Juha Väätäinen – winner of two European gold medals and the first of a long line of successful Finnish runners in the 1970’s.

Though this could also explain her love for sport – it may be more likely to come from her Great Uncle who won Gold in Greco-Roman Wrestling at the 1956 Olympics!

Like many fellow Finns, Meri enjoys watching Ice Hockey but sadly can’t indulge her love of ice skating and snowboarding as much in the UK. She’s fascinated by health and fitness, so much so that she recently co-authored an academic article published in European Sport Management Quarterly.

How can we help?

Contact our friendly team now for exceptional service, fantastic quality and superb value.

Follow Us

Graphic House, Telford Way Severalls Park, Colchester Essex CO4 9QF

+44 (0)1206 845555

info@incodia.co.uk

2 Seddon Place, Skelmersdale, Lancashire WN8 8EB

+44 (0)1695 50622

info@incodia.co.uk