INVERCLYDE entrepreneur Sandy Easdale has spoken about the family values instilled in him and his brother, James, by their parents are key to their successful business careers.

Mr Easdale, who owns Greenock-based McGill’s Buses and a string of other business interests with is brother, said he “learned about business around the dinner table”, adding: “You learn about profit and loss, where to sell things and how to buy things – you learning the basics young.

“I think I was blessed but I never thought that at the time.”

Admitting that the brothers “have our moments but are a team”, Mr Easdale described his upbringing as “quite educational”, working in the family business – a scrap metal yard – from a young age and taking responsibility for parts of it in their teens.

Easdale brothers add to Inverclyde property empire

“We always wanted to be successful but we didn’t know we were going to be where we are today,” he told the Go Radio Show, explaining that when they branched out their own their business “snowballed” as they bought pubs and property. He described buying their first pub, in Greenock, in their twenties as a “big decision”.

“Mum and dad instilled the ethics in us to stick together through thick and then,” Mr Easdale recalled, adding that today “we can discuss things openly without anybody taking offence”.

The transport and property group now employs 3,500 people, with Mr Easdale describing himself as a “bit of a turnaround specialist”. He said: “You go in to a business and there are too many layers of fat – this is why most of them fail.”

However, he praised Inverclyde Council for “doing quite a good job” in regenerating the area although expressed sadness that so many big businesses had moved away, citing IBM and Amazon as just two of them and pointing to the “fragility” of the shipyards.

“We need to focus on smaller companies,” he said. “Let’s build on [Inverclyde] being a great place to live. Let’s get the population up and let’s get the infrastructure right.”