A mind for clean design

Cordless vacuum pioneer Nick Grey started Gtech in his Worcestershire living room. Twenty-two million products later, he’s still innovating.

From a young age, Gtech founder and CEO Nick Grey has had a passion for design. Although he never liked school, he loved to spend hours tinkering with things at home to see how they were put together. After graduating, he got his first real job at a vacuum cleaner factory.

“I would set up tests for design engineers and sweep the laboratory floors,” Grey recalls. “But really I wanted to be a design engineer.”

The young employee couldn’t resist modifying and improving the vacuum prototypes to make them more efficient, and the manufacturer took notice. Grey eventually worked his way up the ladder to become the head of the design department, but the higher he rose at the company, the less hands-on design work he got to do.

In 2001, with enough savings to last him about 18 months, Grey left to start his own company, as he puts it, “So I could design products all day.*”

“And that’s how Gtech was born,” he says. Working initially out of his living room in Worcestershire, Grey says he didn’t talk to anybody for about a year while he designed his first product, the Gtech Sweeper, known as the world’s first cordless power sweeper.

Today, Gtech has sold more than 22 million products worldwide.

The spirit of innovation

Grey didn’t just invent one product, or two, or ten. Since its founding, Gtech has continued to release new and innovative cordless products year after year. The range now includes everything from cordless power tools, hedge trimmers, and lawn mowers to robotic massage beds. And, of course, vacuum cleaners.

Gtech’s first runaway hit was the AirRAM, which Grey designed in 2012 for his 80-year-old mother. Because she couldn’t use heavy upright vacuums, she needed a product that was cordless, simple, and easy to carry up the stairs. With the success of the AirRAM, the lightweight designs evolved from there into a powerhouse fleet of cordless vacuums built to tackle anything you can throw at them, whether you prefer uprights or handhelds, bagged or bagless.

The cordless clean machine

That expanded product line now includes the ProLite, Gtech’s lightest-ever handheld vacuum cleaner at 1kg, which is perfect for quick grab-and-go cleanups, tight spaces, stairs, cars, and upholstery. With an LED headlight, you can actually see the dust in dark crevices, and the ProLite’s triple-filter vacuum bags are built with three breathable layers that filter different grades of dust and debris, which helps compress dirt more efficiently for maximum capacity.

For pet owners who need a little more handheld oomph, there’s the Multi MK2 K9, which is designed to deal with the added mess that comes with furry friends, including stubborn embedded pet hair in the carpet. Strengthened with aluminium to enhance performance, it also comes with lightly scented filter cartridges to keep your home smelling clean and fresh, and a simple latch mechanism lets you empty it easily without creating a dust cloud.

As Gtech notes, a clean house comes with its own health benefits, including improved mental health, but there are also tremendous advantages for allergy sufferers. Regular vacuuming helps keep dust and pet dander at bay, and Gtech’s bagged vacuums are ideal for both pet owners and allergy sufferers. The bag ensures that collected dust particles and fur remain contained, and the bag itself acts as a filter, so you don’t have to worry about unclogging hair and dust during maintenance.

With an enhanced powered brush head, long running time, and reinforced aluminium parts, the AirRAM MK2 K9 has become one of the most popular upright cordless pet vacuum cleaners for a reason. Its rotating brush bar works alongside Gtech’s groundbreaking AirLOC Technology to pick up dirt and large debris as you push forward while suctioning up dust and pet hair on the backstroke. It glides from carpets to hard floors without any settings to adjust — and even leaves a lovely scent behind.

The next big thing

Today, Gtech operates out of a vast 3,300-square-metre facility in Worcester. A robust R&D team of designers, engineers, and model makers works on developing the company’s next breakout product, which often involves the “life test room,” where they rigorously put new prototypes through their paces.

There are typically as many as 10 different product ideas going at once. To make the grade, they have to meet a long list of criteria, not least of which are thresholds for performance and ease of use.

“We like things to have one button,” Grey says, “and to look like what they are.”

What the company does next is anyone’s guess, but something innovative is definitely coming — it always does. “At Gtech, we suffer from too many good ideas and not enough time to develop them,” Grey says. “We are straining at the leash of creativity.”

*Amazon does not endorse any of the products or information provided by the Merchant in this video.