Why I do what I do
Passion, history, ambition. There can be many reasons business owners follow their dream. We asked five company heads to explain their ‘why’.
I love that we’re in it together
We work with businesses in the retail, hospitality and corporate space but I believe the construction aspect is the least important element of what Unita offers. I’ve always strived to provide our clients with great advice and leadership and strategies to help them meet their business challenges and challenge the status quo. I love the process of building experiences that people want to share, talk about and return to. That’s where every discussion with a new client starts – how are we going to create an experience that people will find memorable? We put ourselves in the middle and say we’ll work with you on that and deliver an outcome that gives you a business benefit. We don’t just build; we go on that journey together. I’m very outcome-oriented and to take a concept from inception to outcome, to work alongside big corporations and small business owners and entrepreneurs, it really gives you a sense of pride that you’re in it with them.
Robert Rowe CEO & Founder, Unita Group
Making products people are really proud to own is the thing that drives me and our business. Fifteen years ago, there were a lot of generic, average-quality bike accessories on the market. I could see an enormous opportunity to introduce good design that added some humour, some lifestyle and some enjoyment to these products and the way people used them. Cyclists are willing to spend a lot on their sport and we wanted to make accessories that looked as good as the bikes themselves. It’s a thrill to work with a truly motivated team to ensure we stay ahead of the game and embed the latest and greatest technologies into our designs. There isn’t a day I come to work that I’m not excited about the process of developing products. It’s taken many years to build our brand to the point it’s recognised as a leader by people in the sport. I love travelling to visit our partners and stockists and seeing Knog take pride of place in retail stores around the world. We sell into so many countries now, and to know people everywhere from Iceland to New Zealand are embracing designs a Melbourne company has created here in little old Australia is rewarding.
Hugo Davidson CEO & Executive Director, Knog
Telling the story
I’m passionate about bringing high quality produce from the farm to people’s breakfast bowls where they can enjoy it. Having grown up on the land, as the son of a fourth-generation farmer, telling the story of the product – who produced it, how it’s grown and how it ends up on the shelf – is important to me. We’ve seen that get lost in a lot of areas of primary production so being able to offer a premium cereal product with genuine provenance has been a real driver.
Peter Cain Founder, Dad’s Oats
Making a real difference
I help medical specialists establish and run private practices so they can concentrate on being clinicians, rather than trying to manage small businesses, which is not what they’re trained to do. Often, they’re thrown in the deep end when they hang up a shingle or join a group – they don’t have the knowledge or the experience to do it very well. We pride ourselves on being a one-stop shop, not just helping doctors with their marketing or their human resources or accounting requirements but providing a shoulder to lean on. It’s very rewarding to feel you’re making a difference in someone’s life by taking away some of that stress and helping them to achieve a better work/life balance. Most specialists don’t have that – they work very long hours and if they have families they hardly see them. I enjoy knowing we’re not just helping them become more profitable but also more well-rounded and happier.
Caroline Chaplin Director, RWS
A passion for place
I spent my childhood as an army brat – both my parents were in uniform. We moved a lot and lived in army accommodation, so I always had an awareness that this house wasn’t mine and we’d be moving on again at any point. Some people aren’t affected so much by their environment, but I find I am, quite intensely. From a young age, I had a really strong identity with the physical place I was in. For an adult, 10 years goes really fast but for children growing up in a house, 10 years is an eternity. The place where you spend those years and create memories is really important and special and as an adult you’ll drive past and remember those times. I had so many homes that were clearly not mine that I always felt quite homeless, even though I always had a place to live. That gave me a very strong drive towards architecture and, within that profession, focusing my work on housing.
Rebekah Hurworth CEO and Founder, Family Home Specialists
This article was first published in Business View magazine (Issue 25).