Category Archives: SUCCESS STORIES

‘Stop buying $4 coffees’ & feel ‘Poor Me’ if you want success says young rich lister

A YOUNG rich lister who made his fortune off the back of Australia’s capital city property boom says his generation needs to stop buying $4 coffees and travelling if they want to own a home.

Developer Tim Gurner, 35, is worth nearly half a billion dollars but has delivered a brutal smackdown to some would-be first home buyers struggling to get a toehold in the market.

“When I was buying my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for 19 bucks and four coffees at $4 each,” he told 60 Minutes in a segment exploring Australia’s housing affordability crisis.

“You have to start to get realistic about your expectations. There is no question we are at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high.

“They want to eat out every day, they want to travel to Europe every year. This generation is watching the Kardashians and thinking that’s normal. Thinking that owning a Bentley is normal, that owning a BMW is normal.

Property developer Tim Gurner made his fortune riding the property boom.News Corp Australia

Mr Gurner, who ranked 157 on this year’s Financial Review Rich List after making $473 million in 10 years He started out by>>>>…MORE

Henry Sapiecha

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Ever heard of the Australian Rae family? They just reaped in over $300m

It is one of the richest families in the country, and now the low-profile Rae family of Perth has pocketed more than $300 million from the sale of its New Zealand fuel retailing business to Caltex Australia.

In 2010, the family sold its Gull petrol retailing operations in Western Australia for an estimated $500 million

gull-founder-fred-rae-with-then-new-zealand-prime-minister-helen-clark-in-2007-image-www-money-au-com

Now it has offloaded its Kiwi interests, Gull New Zealand, for $NZ340 million ($324 million) to Caltex Australia.

A few years after the sale of the WA operations in 2010, the Rae family’s fortune was estimated by The West Australian newspaper at $392 million, which has been pumped up significantly with Thursday’s sale.

The family moved into petrol retailing in the 1970s after Gull’s founder, Fred Rae, had spent time working in both the house building game as well as building grain silos.

It built its stake in the fiercely competitive fuel industry by sticking to a low-cost strategy, which in New Zealand has seen it rolling out unmanned petrol stations, helping it carve out a handy 5% share of the market from the majors.

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Gull New Zealand is an independent fuel importer and distributor, which brings with it a fuel import terminal at Mount Maunganui, on the north island, and the company’s petrol stations and retail outlets.

Caltex has established a large fuel import centre at the recently closed Kurnell refinery site in Sydney, while also establishing a buying and trading arm in Singapore to supply its Australian operations.

The New Zealand acquisition “optimises Caltex’s infrastructure position, builds trading and shipping capability, grows the supply base and enhances Caltex’s retail fuel offering through low-risk entry into a new market”, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

It was acquiring the company on a multiple of 8.2 times the forecast earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation for 2017, it said, which will decline to around 7.5 times taking annualised synergies into account. The acquisition is expected to increase earnings per share from the first full year of ownership.

Gull operates 77 retail sites in total, of which it controls 55 sites. Around a third of those are unmanned. It also operates a further 22 supply sites. The company sells about 300 million litres of transport fuel annually.

The Mount Maunganui terminal is the largest facility of its type in New Zealand, with total storage of about 90 million litres. Its retail network is concentrated in the northern half of the north island of New Zealand, and “is well placed to profitably grow via new to industry and/or new supply site expansions”, Caltex said.

Caltex would retain Gull’s brand, management and employees, it said.

Gull has a reputation for being a low-priced market competitor by operating a large number of unmanned outlets with payment by Eftpos or credit card, with no retail outlet. Its outlets are concentrated near its import terminal, with negotiations in the past with rival importers to acquire competitively priced wholesale product blocked when it has sought to expand onto New Zealand’s south island.

The bulk of the country’s population is located on the north island, with Christchurch the largest city on the south island.

The purchase by Caltex follows a period of upheaval in the New Zealand market following the exodus of US group Chevron, which operated the Caltex brand in New Zealand. This was bought for $NZ785 million ($750 million) by Z Energy, which now has close to 50 per cent of the local market.

Ratings agency Standard and Poors said the purchase “will enhance Caltex’s regional supply base, adding scale to its trading and shipping activities”.

“We view New Zealand as being a low risk market for expansion of retail fuel assets,” it said.

 

Samantha Wills- Australian jewellery designer took over 10 years to become an overnight success

Australian Jewellery designer Samantha Wills went from a Byron Bay NSW flea  market stall to becoming an international exporter. Here is her story

Australia’s global jewellery tycoon

Samantha Wills grew up in small town NSW and now controls a global empire of jewellery from New York.

Think of women who have risen to the top of Australian entrepreneurship and the list gets thin fast.

Ever rarer is a woman who has succeeded with her own name as the brand, who has become a celebrity herself in the process.

Samantha Wills, who grew up in Port Macquarie and now lives in New York, is a tycoon of her time.

Samantha Wills' jewellery is now stocked in 80 countries image www.money-au.com

Samantha Wills’ jewellery is now stocked in 80 countries. Photo: James Alcock

Personable, open and yet at also guarded and private, the 34-year-old businesswoman appears to effortlessly blend an air of celebrity with social media fanaticism and a unique product.
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But she says success has been a hard slog and she wants the many young women who worship her to know just how difficult it’s been.

“I think millennials are a generation of ‘slashies’. They’re a DJ/entrepreneur/fashion designer. With all those slashes between your job titles, you lose depth and integrity,” she says.

“Narrow down what you want to be good at, then focus on that. It might not work for the first six months or the first 18 months but it took me 12 years to become an overnight success.”

While she doesn’t go into gruesome detail, Wills was clear that growing a business took a hit on her personal life.

“I think the downside of having success was that when my friends were going off and having a good time, my business was in its infancy so I couldn’t have those normal early 20s experiences.”

samantha wills relaxes on beach image www.money-au.com

Early days

Wills started her company at the of age 21 after moving to Sydney.

“I was working in retail during the day and making jewellery at night to sell at the market. A friend offered me a spot at Australian Fashion Week which would cost $500. I though I would possibly make enough to cover the cost of the stall, but I ended up writing $18,000 of orders that day. I quit my job the next day.”

Now Wills is turning over $10 million annually and is stocked in eighty countries around the world. She has offices in Japan, Korea, Europe, the US and Australia.

Wills credits much of her success to her business partner Geoff Bainbridge who was able to commercialise back-end production and helped launch her to into foreign markets.’

samantha wills in new york fashion week image www.money-au.com

 

[2012] Presenting our bespoke couture pieces, in New York City, for Fashion Week 2012. – SWx #BelieveBig – LAUNCHING JUNE 12th, 2016

Celebrity sights

“Naively, when I first went to the US in 2010, I thought I was going over with a successful Australian brand and that would be enough. You think you can replicate that over there and it’s not the case,” says Wills.

“You need a much more refined offer. You need to know who your business competitors are and your media competitors. We ended up doing 18 months of research about the US before we moved our first order.”

The orders started coming thick and fast once actress Eva Mendes was snapped on a red carpet wearing Wills’ Bohemian Bardot ring. Wills’ jewellery has also been worn by Katy Perry, Miranda Kerr, Lady Gaga, Kate Bosworth, Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Lopez.

“That ring Eva wore continues to be our best seller and we’ve made it now in 150 colours. It kind of became our signature piece.”

Samantha Wills trys out earrings image www.money-au.com

Sometimes (and only sometimes…) the @samanthawillsofficial PR Department, let’s me play with upcoming collections…. These are definitely my lust haves; the ‘Spanish Moss Grande’ earrings, in Amethyst + Rose Gold… Just added to the Waiting List at samanthawills.com (Which I’ll too be joining, because they won’t let me keep them). -SWx #SamanthaWills #SamanthaWillsOfficial 📸 @alimitton | 💅🏾 @stojb

Small-town Australian

Wills has recently signed to be an ambassador for Optus’ Believe Big campaign targeting small businesses.

“We filmed a campaign flashing back to 2004 through to my life now. I really want people to know the struggles and hurdles of funding success.”

While Wills credits her naivety for much of the company’s strengths, she sometimes regrets the decision to get going without any formal business training.

“Every day I wish I’d studied business or management. But, I learn as I go. I might have learned the harder way on the job.”

Asked why a New Yorker is the right person for this campaign, Wills says she still considers herself not just Australian but a “small-town” Australian.

“I still go to Port Macquarie five to six times a year because my family live there. We stock the range at one shop in Port Macquarie and every time I notice the town is really growing and evolving very quickly.”

DDD

Henry Sapiecha

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www.worldwidediamonds.info

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Shopkins success: Toy retailer Manny Stul wins EY global entrepreneurship award

Australian toymaker named best entrepeneur

Melbourne-based billionaire Manny Stul’s Shopkins success see him awarded EY’s World Entrepreneur of the Year title in Monaco.

Most Australian parents probably haven’t heard of Manny Stul, but they will know about his Shopkins.

Stul’s family-owned toy company, Moose Enterprise turned over $600 million last year and continues to carve out a global marketplace for its products, with its YouTube-friendly Shopkins range of dolls beating heavyweights like Barbie and Bratz.

The Melbourne-based toy maker beat 55 contestants to win the Ernst and Young World Entrepreneur of the Year title in Monaco at the weekend – the first time an Australian has won this award

Shopkins King Manny Stul celebrates his win at the EY World Entrepreneur awards ceremony in Monaco image www.money-au.com

Shopkins King’: Manny Stul celebrates his win at the EY World Entrepreneur awards ceremony in Monaco.

The global title comes after Stul, 67, won EY’s Australian Entrepreneur of the Year. Last month the BRW Rich listed put Stul and his family’s wealth at $1.24 billion.

The accolades come despite a huge setback in 2007, when a craft bead produced by Moose had to be recalled because it was found to contain a chemical that turns into party drug “GHB” in the human body.

Judges noted the disaster in their comments.

Young-children-have-been-swept-up-in-the-Shopkins-craze image www.money-au.com

Young children have been swept up in the Shopkins craze.

“Manny was our choice, not only due to his impressive growth, but also because the business he has nurtured has shown sustained global success. His mettle was tested when Moose faced a product recall that would have overcome less resilient and well-managed businesses,” said chair of the judging panel Rebecca MacDonald.

What are Shopkins?

For the uninitiated, Shopkins is a range of miniature toy characters fashioned on typically mundane items found in a supermarket.

What are Shopkins?

For the uninitiated, Shopkins is a range of miniature toy characters fashioned on typically mundane items found in a supermarket.

Shopkins have taken off worldwide.image www.money-au.com

The brightly coloured figurines are no more than three centimetres tall. Kids can collect, share and trade the figurines, which have unique faces and names. For example, there is a chocolate chip biscuit named Kooky Cookie, a candy bar named Cheeky Chocolate and an apple named Apple Blossom. They are sold with tiny plastic shopping bags and baskets, ready to be filled, much to the delight of parents worldwide.

A Shopkins 12 pack typically retails for $13 in Australian stores, while Shopkins Donatina’s Donut Delights sells for $29 and a Shopkins Collector’s Case costs $20.

Most Australian parents know Shopkins image www.money-au.com

Most Australian parents know Shopkins.

Stul has helmed the company for sixteen years, but credits innovation for the company’s success.

Movie move

Stul revealed his company would be releasing a movie based on one its products in October.

“Our next big move will be into entertainment and our next big move will be into licensing,” he said.

Stul claims Moose’s success in the US market is due to “cutting edge marketing”. Moose is the fifth biggest toy advertiser on American TV, he claims.

“We were the disrupter, and so there are people chasing us to where they perceive us to be,” he said.

“But we’ve moved way beyond that already.”

One-man band

Sixteen years ago, when Stul began his reign as CEO, he learned the nuts and bolts.

“I did everything myself, which was a very fortunate thing. Distribution, warehousing, finance, selling.

“I did all my own selling and packing for the first three years,” he said.

Now Moose currently employs around 50 people in Melbourne and 100 in China.

Stul credits his father, a cabinet maker, for teaching him how to handle staff.

“Everyone should learn this lesson”, he said.

“Whatever you pay a bad person is too much and whatever you pay a good person is not enough.”

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Henry Sapiecha

How refugee Sam Bashiry turned a $1000 router into a $15 million internet business

Sam Bashiry says life was tough when he moved to Australia image www.money-au.com

Sam Bashiry, founder of Broadband Solutions. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Sam Bashiry fled Iran in 1989 with his mum and his sister when he was only 10 years old and the family arrived in Australia to start a new life.

Bashiry says the experience gave him the courage to take the risk and start up his own business with Broadband Solutions now turning over $15 million a year and employing 25 people.

It is so courageous to make that journey. Timidity cannot be part of that tool kit.

Bruce Billson

Bashiry’s story is not uncommon among refugees with a report published by the UTS business school last year finding refugees have significant entrepreneurial potential and, with the right support, can contribute to the economy, create income for themselves and employ others.

Sam Bashiry says life was tough when he moved to Australia- image www.money-au.com

Sam Bashiry says life was tough when he moved to Australia but he has seized the opportunities he has been given. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Starting with nothing

“We were refugees and were sent to the Maribyrnong detention centre,” Bashiry says. “When we arrived in Australia we didn’t have our passports and we were at the detention centre for over a year.”

From here the family moved to a migrant hostel in Springvale and Bashiry started school.

“I couldn’t speak English so it was a bit of a shock to the system,” he says. “I remember standing up when the teacher came into the classroom and everyone laughed and said, ‘We don’t do that here’.”

The family left a comfortable life to come to Australia and start again with nothing.

“We went through a lot of hard times,” Bashiry says. “It was a massive lifestyle change for us. I remember getting teased at school because I had my shoes from Target. As a person you can go two ways, you can be the victim and think, ‘Why me’, or you can think, ‘It’s part of the journey’. Why not turn it into a positive and do something into your life?”

Bashiry went on to study at Swinburne University “because university is something that is expected in the Persian community”, but even then Bashiry knew he was more interested in creating things.

Bashiry got his first job at a dial-up internet company through Centrelink for $7.50 an hour working in computer support.

“I just learnt on the job,” Bashiry says. “I asked a lot of questions and and I came in early and left late.

From here Bashiry moved to work at KeyPoint and saw that besides Telstra and Optus nobody was focused on providing internet to small businesses.
A gap in the market

“I saw a niche there,” he says. “I just sat down one day and said, ‘I’m going to do it’. One of the biggest things holding people back is fear, but coming from where I did and coming to Australia … I thought, ‘What can go wrong?'”.

To start off Bashiry shared an office with some university friends and the first challenge was to pay the rent.

“We had the smallest office in the whole building,” he says. “We were quite embarrassed so the first thing we did was tint the windows so nobody could see in.”

Bashiry started off selling domain names but realised it was too hard on his own so pitched a half share of the business to former work colleague Brad Hughes.

The pair needed a router so found a second-hand one on eBay in Broadmeadows for $1000. “We used that to set up the company and started selling from there.”

Bashiry says the early days of Broadband Solutions were tough with turnover of about $20,000 a month and “really long hours”.

“It was difficult and there were times you thought, ‘Have I made the right decision?’,” he says. “It wasn’t about the money though, we were passionate about it.”
The turning point

For Bashiry the turning point was a phone call from what was the Carlton Crest hotel inquiring about an internet connection for an upcoming conference.

Bashiry quickly patched together a solution.

“I don’t think you get lucky, you get opportunities and it depends what you do with them,” he says.

That first conference led to more work from other hotels and Broadband Solutions had found its market.

Now Broadband Solutions supplies hotels directly across Australia and has set its sights on the education market.

“We sat down and just talked to schools about how they are dealing with bring your own devices and how they deal with systems upgrades and bandwidth,” Bashiry says. “It just took one school to make the jump and now we have 150 schools using our services and it is going to be a really big market for us. There are over 10,000 schools so it’s a much bigger market for us than hospitality.”
The entrepreneurial spirit

Former small business minister Bruce Billson is a passionate advocate for Bashiry and says there is a “real entrepreneurship” in the journey of the Bashiry family to Australia.

“It’s a terrific story about the entrepreneurial spirit that brings people to this country in the first place and the contribution that can be made once they are here,” Billson says.

“It is so courageous to make that journey. Timidity cannot be part of that tool kit.”

Billson says what Broadband Solutions does is also great for small business.

“Half of Australia’s businesses are invisible online, a lot of small businesses that are extremely gifted and talented at their business find that technology side of things quite confronting,” he says. “What Sam is doing helps you navigate all that stuff and makes it easy.”

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Henry Sapiecha

Atlassian: the Australian millionaire factory. Story in videos & pics.

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Atlassian surges in debut

Shares of Australian business software maker Atlassian soar in their Nasdaq debut.

They’re known as the “Royals” and “the chosen ones” — the select few invited to be in New York on Thursday morning to ring the bells celebrating the opening of the stock exchange and Australian tech darling Atlassian’s massive IPO.

About 40 Atlassian employees — many of whom were hand-picked by co-founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar in the company’s early years — celebrated overnight as they became multi-millionaires and Atlassian became a company with a market cap of $US5.74 billion ($7.9 billion).

Atlassian, a leading provider of collaboration software for teams with products, opened for trading on The Nasdaq Stock Market image www.money-au.com

Atlassian, a leading provider of collaboration software for teams with products, opened for trading on The Nasdaq Stock Market on December 10, 2015. Photo: Christopher Galluzzo

By the end of Thursday’s trading in the US, however, more than just those 40 became millionaires. Former Atlassian employees say more than 100 staff are now either millionaires or multi-millionaires.

It’s also understood the shares of a number of staff who joined in recent years are now worth six figures.

“There are going to be a hundred people who are going to be millionaires today — at least on paper,” a former Atlassian employee, who didn’t wish to be named, told Fairfax Media.

Atlassian co-founders Scott Farquhar (right) and Mike Cannon-Brookes image www.money-au.com

Atlassian co-founders Scott Farquhar (right) and Mike Cannon-Brookes. Photo: Trevor Collens

They added that the Royals had been “going out on lavish dinners and celebrations” while in New York in recent days and were already discussing how they should splurge their cash, and whether it should be on luxury cars.

Many are also considering investing their money in Australian start-ups, or starting their own.

“Mike and Scott’s legacy will be beyond Atlassian,” the former Atlassian employee said. “They want to make billionaires in Australia that are going to invest in Australian companies — the next wave of start-ups

Those likely to make the most from the IPO are those who joined between 2002, when the company started, and 2008. That’s when Atlassian offered employees the chance to buy shares at a much lower price than $US27, the price shares were trading for on Thursday as the market closed. For employees who were offered — and purchased — shares at 50 cents several years ago, their stake is now 5300 per cent more valuable.

While some employees chose to hedge their bets and sell some of their shares last year for $US16 to T. Rowe Price and Dragoneer Investment Capital in a financing round, many are understood to have held on to most of them.

When Atlassian received that financing, which valued the company at $US3.3 billion, Mr Cannon-Brookes declined to specify how many millionaires his company had made at the time, but said it was “not double digit”.

“That number [of millionaires] blew both Scott and I away,” Mr Cannon-Brookes said at the time to The Australian.

“That was probably the biggest achievement to come out of this [new investment] and [something] we hadn’t thought about.”

There’s never been a more exciting time to be an Australian — as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would say — or, in this case, to be an Atlassian employee.

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Henry Sapiecha