Meet the team – Derek Poulston, MD

Derek Poulston: 30 years in the business

I was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire in 1969. I left school at the earliest chance, as I was eager to get out and work. Originally thinking I could get involved in graphic design, I was soon put off by the thought of an 8-year college course! My second train of thought was to get involved with photography as I had been taking pictures for many years as a hobby.

Coming through the then YTS (Youth Training Scheme) in a professional photographic laboratory named Hamills – also in Cheltenham – I spent the best part of three years sent from pillar to post learning every aspect of traditional processing.

Joining Colab in 1988, I spent two years as a printer before being offered management of a new satellite branch in Cardiff. I spent three years lifting it to become the company’s flagship branch, out performing all nine satellites.

In 1993 I left the company to fulfill a lifetime ambition of travelling around the world. Within a week of coming home I was offered the position of managing the Colab, Cheltenham branch. I spent three years there; it too became the most successful satellite laboratory in the group. However, my desire to travel again got the better of me and in 1997 I left in search of new adventures.

Here, Derek Poulston poses with H.E. Ali Bin Thalith, Secretary General of the HIPA, and photographer and consultant, Martin Grahame-Dunn, at the recent photography awards in Dubai.

When I returned I was offered the Area Operations Manager with Colab. I held this role until 2005 when the company voluntarily placed itself into administration. The schools photography assets were sold off to Ede & Ravenscroft, a graduation photographic company. But my now partner, Nick Pancisi, owner of Multiprint, bought the profitable elements of the remnants. I became part of the management team, re-launching Colab.

Colab and Multiprint ran side by side for two years. However, in 2007 we merged the two businesses and created One Vision Imaging Ltd. At this point I became the General Manager. In 2010, I bought into the company and subsequently became part owner and Managing Director.

OVI is a multi-award winning pro lab, recently picking up 'Best Lab' and 'Best Framing Company' in the 2014 SWPP awards.
OVI is a multi-award winning pro lab, recently picking up ‘Best Lab’ and ‘Best Framing Company’ in the 2014 SWPP awards.

Today, in 2015, we are one of the leading professional photographic solutions companies in the UK.

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