Rob Cowman
Rob Cowman

Robert Cowman, Engineering Director, EC-OG, 39

Rob has worked within a variety of different sized companies over the course of 18 years. This has allowed him to develop an excellent foundation of technical knowledge and business acumen within the Oil & Gas industry.

Robert joined EC-OG in July 2013 and later that year became a 50% shareholder. Richard Knox is MD of EC-OG whilst Rob takes the less high profile role as engineering director.

However, this allows him to focus on the engine room of the business driving it forward from within while Richard works hard at the outward facing interfaces. This 2-person partnership is the key to EC-OG’s success to date and what has allowed it to continue to grow in turbulent market conditions not seen in over a generation.

Working closely with the strategies that the partnership formed, has allowed EC-OG to become one of Scotland’s top business start-ups. This was acknowledged by Scottish Enterprise when EC-OG was entered into the High Growth Start Up unit, which identifies those companies in Scotland with the highest potential for growth.

Rob was instrumental in the development of the business plan which has gained investment from the Scottish government in the form of 2 of £100K SMART grants and a R&D grant of £1.25M, alongside a further £1.25M in private equity. On top of the grants and investments EC-OG turned over a not unimpressive £750k in its first year of trading.

Learning from previous experience at small companies, Rob was keen to create a business with genuine longevity and growth potential. Often small enterprises struggle to grow beyond their start up size, this is down to a management team unable to let go of total control and the ability to trust and empower people to make decisions which benefit the company as a whole. The 1st stage in this process was to give the early employees ownership of their own business in their work and also in the form of shares. EC-OG is continuing to grow and has taken on 4 new team members since May this year.

Today, as Engineering Director of EC-OG, Rob is responsible for guiding the engineering team towards the next significant milestone for the company. Development of the SPH is critical to the company success, therefore Rob leads the team having full technical oversight of the project.

Rob is playing an integral part in EC-OG. With his input, EC-OG is contributing positively to the Aberdeen business environment and is leading the industry as a beacon of hope for the future.

After having put maximum energy into setting up EC-OG, Rob is now on the path towards scaling and growing the company further.

This includes the commercialisation of the Subsea Power Hub, maintaining the engineering services business and looking out for the next ground breaking technology advance which EC-OG will be at the forefront of developing.

As well as this, Rob wants to ensure that EC-OG retains its unique identity and work ethic throughout this process. It is a small company with a big vision and the innovative working environment has created a strong and cheerful team, dilution of this working environment is one of the biggest challenges faced as EC-OG will grow, however Rob will be looking at how to maintain this and even improve on it.

Ideally Rob wants to encourage development in Scotland to make it a technology hot spot, the support the Scottish Government gives its entrepreneurs is unparalleled anywhere in the world. However, we need to encourage more people to take that plunge and bring their ideas to realisation.