Down pharmacist Tom Eakin (84) set up his company in 1974 to produce medical ostomy products, particularly skin protection and wound drainage products. It bought a second company, Pelican Healthcare, in 2007 and the group, which has a parent firm in the Isle of Man, exports to more than 30 countries. TG Eakin has evolved to become one of the North's most innovative companies, generating pre-tax profits of £21.8m (€24.7m) last year on over €62m of sales. Dividends of €46m have been paid out over the last three years. Sons Paul and Jeremy Eakin now run the business.