A Perfect Partnership

Patrick Gross MBA’16 is a family business man—it’s what brought him to Babson. “I was told that Babson was known for nurturing future family business leaders,” he said. “Hands-down there’s no better place for this type of individual.”

As director of Sales and New Business Development at RG Group, his family’s manufacturing services company, Gross is leveraging his Babson education and alumni network to move the business forward. One example: a connection with Ann Whittaker MBA’88 of Rethink Robotics led to the launch of a distribution partnership between both companies; a “great illustration of how powerful our [Babson] network can be,” said Gross.

We caught up with him to learn more about his family’s business and how Babson’s network has helped his career.

RG Group

Would you tell us about your family business?

RG group is a manufacturing services company specifically specializing in fluid handling and motion control. We do everything from getting a plant up and running following a maintenance issue to designing the hydraulic aspects of a military vehicle. We provide components, technical support, and systems to multiple industries throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

My grandfather started RG Group 61 years ago, and my father has built it to employ over 110 people. I’ve been back in the business for six years now and been on the board for nine. In my current role, I oversee our new business development function, and, as a result of Babson, have launched our robotics product.

How did you connect with Ann Whittaker MBA’88 of Rethink Robotics?

I had been researching collaborative robotics companies—market research has been telling us that the collaborative robotics industry will explode in the next 20 years, especially in the U.S. When I found out there was a Babson connection with Ann, I immediately reached out to her. She put us in touch with the right people at Rethink Robotics. After several meetings, we inked a deal to be their distribution partner for the mid-Atlantic region.

It was a huge, strategic step in the right direction for RG Group. We serve over 16,000 customers and manufacturers in our region and the majority of them are thinking about using robotics in the near future.

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How did that connection benefit RG Group and the work you do?

It revitalized our company and has given us new energy in the area of automation. We are dealing with new customers and new companies every day as a result. We signed with Rethink Robotics in August and it has contributed substantially to our organization in just nine months. We are forecasting that we will sell even more robots next fiscal year. Some of our larger customers, after deploying one robot to start, are now considering 100. This will continue to have a huge impact for us in the future.

What’s the best part of being a member of Babson’s alumni community?

Being a part of the Babson community means so much. The alumni network is extremely powerful. If you came to Babson to be an entrepreneur or learn how to be a better leader there’s no better group to help you accomplish that. If you need help [from the community], pick up the phone. People are busy but always want to help.