WORDS FROM THREE WISE MEN
Business advisor and company director David Cullwick, corporate finance adviser Jai Basrur, and businessman/philanthropist Neil Richardson were recently appointed as advisors to NZTE’s New Zealand Beachhead. Why did they join the Beachhead team? What comm
David Cullwick, Jai Basrur and Neil Richardson were all recently appointed as advisors to NZTE’s New Zealand Beachhead. They explain why they joined the Beachhead team, what common mistakes they see businesses making, and how important it is to take a customer-centric approach?
Since coming to New Zealand in 1988, Jai Basrur has worked with New Zealand businesses across a variety of sectors. He has also worked in India, the Middle East, Europe and Southeast Asia – a useful background to help New Zealand businesses grow and export.
“I have enjoyed the platform this has given me to meet a diverse range of businesses I wouldn’t have met in a consulting capacity,” says Basrur. “In essence, it’s down to a personal desire to contribute to growing NZ Inc and to make a difference in my own way.”
For Neil Richardson, it was something a client said that sparked his interest in helping other businesses.
“I vividly remember about 20 years ago an offshore client saying to me ‘You’re my mentor, who’s yours?’ I had never thought that I was viewed like that, but it started me on a journey of realising the importance of having mentors and being a mentor. I regard it as a personal responsibility to help others, often by simply helping them to see a clear pathway forward when they feel overwhelmed – it’s important to have outside help,” he says.
David Cullwick was excited by NZTE’s Fresh Thinking approach to assisting high profile companies and felt a personal alignment with the strategy. Cullwick has been involved for many years as a strategic advisor to international firms and industries. He has also been involved in research and case studies on SMEs as part of an annual executive development programme with faculty from a leading US business school. Also on his CV is a directorship with an NZX-listed company working in global markets.
“I was keen to contribute more widely to New Zealand’s export and international business development and am excited about this Beachhead advisor role.”
Basrur’s most valuable lessons have centred around people. With a background in corporate finance and business strategy, he says it’s not the size of the transaction and the company that is important, but the people, underlying values, passion and commitment.
FROM THE BEACHHEADS