30 QUESTIONS FOR Usman Rasul – development chemist, Tilemaster Adhesives

30 QUESTIONS FOR Usman Rasul – development chemist, Tilemaster Adhesives


(1) Did you ever get into trouble at school and, if so, why?

Yes. But only the once. Classic story. We were playing football and the ball was kicked over the school wall. I decided to jump over the wall and bring the ball back. I mean, what are the chances anyone would notice? Little did I know the sixth form head was watching that little corner of the field. It was worth it though!


(2) What was your first part-time job?

The first proper job I had was working at Poundland during summer holidays, before the second year of my undergraduate degree. It was full-time, but I switched to part-time when I returned to university.


(3) What did you spend your first pay cheque on?

No idea! But I do remember working at Poundland and saving for three months to get my first car. The sense of achievement from buying your first car from your hard-earned money is unforgettable.


(4) What was your first full-time job?

Technically this would be Poundland. But the first job in which I was working full-time continuously would have been at AstraZeneca as an associate scientist in pathology, analysing blood samples of volunteers for clinical trials.


(5) What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Dad always said: ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’.


(6) What was your worst business mistake?

I’m struggling with this question. Maybe I haven’t made one - yet.


(7) What was your greatest business achievement?

Completing my PhD training in-between getting married and becoming a dad. In terms of business achievement, I think that’s yet to come at Tilemaster.


(8) What car do your drive today and what does it say about you?

I bought a Skoda Octavia last year. I needed a bigger car, enough room for the wife and both kids and space in the boot for pushchairs, shopping etc. That’s the excuse I gave my wife anyway.


(9) If you could have invented any product, what would it have been?

Something that changed the world. Probably the electric lightbulb.


(10) What do you most like about the flooring industry?

Difficult to say as I’ve only recently joined the industry with Tilemaster. I’ve recently been to two flooring trade days, which went well. It was great to meet people who use our products and it was a chance for me to get feedback. As a development chemist, I’m always looking to improve our products for customers.


(11) What do you least like about the flooring industry?

With my limited experience, I don’t think there’s anything I dislike. Ask me next year.


(12) Name one change you would make to the industry?

Greater awareness of different types of substrates and moisture problems.


(13) Which company in the flooring industry, other than your own, do you most admire and why?

Polyflor, because they produce great products and seem to have the industry well accounted for.


(14) Where should we have a flooring trade show and why?

Manchester and Birmingham. Two big cities, great transport links. Also, I live in Manchester and my in-laws are from Birmingham.


(15) Which single possession would you rescue if your house caught fire?

It’s got to be my PS4, even though I don’t get to play it often.  My wife bought it me for my birthday – best gift ever.


(16) Do you have pets?



(17) Do you have hobbies?

I’m super-busy with the kids so no time for hobbies. But I love taking them out at the weekend, can’t wait until the weather gets better.


(18) How do you relax?

Watching a film in peace when the little monsters are asleep.


(19) What is your favourite tipple?

Don’t drink.


(20) How many times a year do you take a holiday and what is your favourite destination?

Once a year to a different part of the UK (Norfolk this year). I thought about going abroad with the kids this year, but I’d have needed another holiday when I got back.


(21) What is your idea of heaven?

Spending time with the perfect set of wife and kids on a nice sunny day, in a big mansion next to the sea, eating chicken and chips. It’ll happen one day!


(22) What is your idea of hell?

A life without my kids. Although some days it seems like the opposite.


(23) Which one record and book would you take to a desert island?

Maybe Bob Marley and the SAS survival handbook.


(24) Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

John McClane (Bruce Willis). I’m sure he can get us out.


(25) If you could be anyone (living or dead, fictional or real) who would it be?

It’s got to be James T Kirk from Star Trek. Love sci-fi.


(26) Choose five words that describe yourself.

Honest, determined, motivated, methodical and realistic.


(27) Any regrets?



(28) Do you have unfulfilled ambitions?

I think I’ve fulfilled my main ambition of having a family and being in a stable position in life.


(29) What was your most embarrassing moment?

Can’t remember any.


(30) If you had to choose another career what would it be?

Working as a scientist in the pharmaceutical industry.