You’re now General Manager of Business Interiors, tell me about your move into the new role.
The opportunity at hand is to lead the business to new levels. How do we become great? Ensure we are dealing with the everyday challenges, whilst pushing the business forward strategically.
The business has been established for a while so it’s gone through its initial growing pains, where do you see it in 5 years’ time?
The foundation has been set. The level of customers gets better each year, working with larger enterprises is a great step in the right direction for us as a business. That and other projects we continue to win highlights that we are a serious player in this market. We need to leverage that position and look to leverage the benefits of being a part of Winc, a billion-dollar business, using the unique brand of Business Interiors to the commercial market to create opportunity. It has already delivered benefits, however there is still opportunity to take better advantage of our position.
For those in the Australian market who haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting you, having relocated from New Zealand only last week, can you give us some background of what you have previously done in the business?
I joined the business in 2008, my first role in the furniture industry. 18 months later we launched Business Interiors to the market. At that time, I lead the first Business Interiors external team and went on to do projects in New Zealand, Queensland which I looked after for a couple of years, then did a six-month stint in Sydney flying in and out.
Having headed up the New Zealand Business Interiors Team for some time, they’ve been quite a successful part of the Business Interiors family, to what do you think they owe that success?
I think being on projects in different states is a juggling act however having the past two years just to directly focus on New Zealand, the results show for themselves. The other part is having a great team in New Zealand, we all knew our purpose and what we were trying to achieve. Blair executed extremely well on the projects he did and everyone played their roles. Last year was a hugely successful year with 25% growth, that’s massive for a business that had plateaued previously.
With your move to Australia last week, what does that mean for you and family and life in general?
My family will move here closer to the end of the year, allowing the kids to finish the school year in NZ. My youngest Jackson would have flown here with me last week, he’s happy to up and move. My daughter is more concerned about the friends and school, not quite as cavalier as Jackson. The other upside is my eldest lives in Brisbane so I can see him more frequently which is great. Of course, the weather living here in Sydney is a definite upside, especially given the massive storm they had in Auckland last night.
It’s a challenge for us as a family to come across, we come from a beautiful place and beautiful home, and township, however the opportunity is here. The opportunity to lead a $40 million company and for the family to experience in another city, another country is huge.
You’re off to Milan, what are you excited about seeing there?
The most exciting part is to reconnect with our vendor partners. When I came back from Orgatec in late 2016 to fill in the team on key take outs from the visit, it really came down to needing to build stronger partnerships with our key vendors and to do that we need to be face to face with them, breaking bread with them, and being in a very European way part of the family. Otherwise it’s very hard to move strategy, I’m a big fan of disruptive ideas and for them to buy into that down the road we need to have a strong relationship. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to meet with them as General Manager and give them an overview of where we’re going and what we’re doing.