The art of flight
Running a business is like piloting a plane; you can be flying high one minute and crash landing the next. Office Brands CEO Gavin Ward takes us through the processes of staying airborne and landing softly.
Gavin Ward is a pilot. Sure he can fly a plane, but he has also proved himself adept at steering a business. In fact, he has a long and storied journey through heavy clouds and blue skies: he has run large organisations including Leading Edge Group where he served for 21 years and The Australian Music Retailers’ Association (AMRA). He also served as General Manager – sales and marketing for Akai Electronics.
That’s a lot of navigation and even more experience. If running a business was measured in flight hours, Gavin- could fly a light plane to China, where he is currently procuring business for Office Brands.
It was his time at Leading Edge, which really proved his mettle as a leader/pilot. When Gavin arrived there, the company was a two-man operation. When he left the Australian franchised buying group operation expanded to cater for 10 different vertical markets including Computers, Electronics, Digital Photography, Telecoms, Jewellery, Lingerie, Golf, Books, Video and Music meeting the needs of over 1500 franchised stores and a broad base of over 450 suppliers.
So when he went to Office Brands, Gavin knew a thing or two about growth propositions, which is exactly what this supplies company wanted. In fact Gavin has been tasked with swelling the office products industry under three franchise banners.
One is Office National, the predominant brand with 100 stores across Australia. Office Products Depot is a brand bought from New Zealand, which has 30 stores in the land of the long white cloud.
Then there’s a separate entity entirely. O-Net is an unbranded proposition for