Businessman sacked from Dundee office returns ten years later as building owner
A man from Dundee said he “would stand for nothing” when he was sacked by an alarm company 10 years ago has now bought his premises.
When Derek Mawhinney was fired from an alarm sales job at Dunsinane House that he couldn’t have imagined a decade later, he would be back.
After leaving Forfar Academy, Derek started working for SAS Alarm and Security.
He still vividly remembers the day he was released.
He said: “I was taken to the office on Friday and told that I was not very good at selling alarms. They let me go.
“I questioned it and the manager at the time got angry.
“He told me that I was going to be useless and that I would be lucky to have another job in a call center.
“At 17, I thought I was useless for selling alarms – it can’t be much lower than that. “
What are the building plans?
Now Derek has big plans for up to 20 offices.
The real estate entrepreneur insists that buying the premises on Kilspindie Road was not an emotional investment but a sound business decision.
He said, “I want to make it a thriving community business center.
“We have a lot of good innovations coming to Dundee.
“I feel like, as beautiful as the city is, we don’t really have as much office space as we could have.
“I think we can build something pretty special.”
Mother’s death inspires
In addition to his firing from that sales job, the 27-year-old used the death of his mother Amanda when he was just 19 to motivate him.
Amanda was only 39 when she died and Derek said it was a difficult time for him and his family.
Derek said, “I don’t think she’s ever seen me represent much. I felt I needed to prove myself
“I promised my mother that I would be someone that people would turn to.
“At some point we will meet again.
“I hope it’s 80 years from now and I’m old and fragile. I hope I have a huge story to tell.
“It’s about creating opportunities for the people of Dundee.
“Somewhere she’s looking. It’s up to me to be the best version of me that I can.
“It’s a huge motivator.
Derek created Omnis Properties in 2013 and has worked with residential properties.
The entrepreneur said Covid has forced a rethink of his business.
“It has totally changed our business,” he said.
“We had to look for other opportunities.
“We are in the early stages of a large-scale redevelopment proposal in Dundee.
A decade after leaving Dunsinane House after losing his job, Derek reflected on his own journey.
“I can look back and be happy that I have changed so much as a person.
“I have come a long way in the past 10 years.