Sound businessman

A business is only as good as the people who work for it according to Martin Grainger of Grainger Communications.

Specialising in the provision of audio, audio-visual and CCTV systems, the Omagh company has grown steadily over the past two decades.

An acoustician by trade, Martin turned his love of science and sound into a business in 1990 after studying for a masters in acoustics in England.

“I have always been interested in science and physics. I like doing it, it’s as simple as that. It’s my interest as well as my work and I’m extremely fortunate that I get to work in something I am genuinely interested in.

“I always thought I’d do my own thing, I’m a little bit independent that way. I always like the idea of controlling my own destiny to some extent,” says the company director.

Starting out on his own, Martin began to work with a lot of local bands and stage acts before the business began to develop through the help of Omagh Enterprise Centre and LEDU.

“Things improved and I started to develop the installation side of things and started to take on people and those people are still here.

“The business itself is really about the provision of principally sound systems and audio/visual systems to whole variety of markets from schools and hotels to churches and councils. There are all sorts of things we deal with here,” he explains.

Through subsidiary Grainger Acoustics, the company also deals with the noise aspects of planning applications, noise at work, noise nuisance, architectural acoustics and electroacoustics.


Working in such a rapidly changing industry, adaptability has been key to the success of Grainger Communications states Martin.

“Trying to keep up with everything that’s going on is incredible. When I started doing sound systems everything was virtually analogue and now everything is nearly all digital. I suppose we were one of the first companies that embraced that digital technology.”

A self confessed audiophile, Martin asserts it is his genuine interest with the technology that has him constantly on the hunt for something new.

“It’s also about providing a service to our customers, looking at what their needs and what we can do for them, that is essentially how we operate.”

The gradual but steady growth over the years seen Grainger Communications relocated to new purpose built premises in the Doogary Industrial Estate on the Bankmore Road in 2008. “We have been slow and steady over the years and it has seemed to have worked for us so far,” says the business owner.

Adapting to changing technologies seen the company become of the North’s leading installers of electronic whiteboards. Installing around 3,000 in schools around the province up to around 2009.

But with the market reaching saturation point, coupled with the impact of the banking crisis, the firm were forced to restructure, dropping from 12 staff to the present complement of five.

“It is about adaptability and adapting to the situation you find yourself in. You continually need to be looking around you and hopefully you can recognise what is going on and hopefully you can do something about it when you do recognise it,” affirms Martin.

Recently Grainger Communications have secured a high profile contract for installing the Bose sound system into the new Titanic museum in Belfast.


“It was very interesting,” reveals

Martin. “It’s nice to be working on big projects like that. It gives you good experience and insight into all the other things that are going on.”

Other high profile projects have included sound systems for local churches and the GAA, including systems for Healy Park, Brewster Park and McHale Park in Castlebar as well as a huge project at Lough Eske Castle in Donegal. Martin’s work has also taken him to Wembley and the Emirates Stadium in London.

“I like what I do, it’s as simple as that,” he smiles. “I’m genuinely interested in the technology and how we as people relate to it and how it helps us in our everyday life. But the company isn’t just about me.”

Paying tribute to his longserving staff, Martin disclosed, “Without them, things would be a lot different. They work hard, they’re good people and they’re with me a long time.

“Realistically any company is only as good as the people who work in it. You’re only as good as the weakest link in the chain and fortunately here all the links are strong.”