Describe your current job?
Impex Personnel is the white-collar recruitment arm of my new venture, the Navital Group. Getting into the ‘people’ side of the supply chain industry was always my goal. I spent more than a decade working in our family-owned, blue-collar labour hire business, Labourforce, but left to expand my horizons. There were about a dozen boutique players in the white-collar recruitment market, but Impex Personnel stood out. I joined as a recruitment consultant to ensure I really understood the business. After about six months I executed a consultant buy-out and assumed responsibility of business ownership. It was a challenging time as the GFC had taken hold and most businesses were cost-cutting. That said, good people are always needed.
Why do you find it
The business started with a founding principle of experienced supply chain staff turned into recruitment consultants and a “no headhunting” policy. The ethics of not poaching staff from our clients was important to me and we stick to that to this day.
What did you want to
be when you were growing up?
Growing up I thought I had two choices – play cricket for Australia as an off-spin bowler, or play in the backrow for the Wallabies. Unfortunately, life got in the way. I fell in a ditch scoring a try and sustained a serious ankle injury. Sport and healthy lifestyle remain passions.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Cronulla but you could say I grew up at the Wanda Surf Lifesaving Club as the Nippers program had a huge impact on me. The community was obsessed with sport and healthy living which created my whole life view. Windsurfing was a great way to get away from it all and enjoy the water, but a lot changes as you get older and I haven’t managed to get out and windsurf in a while. The Sharks were also a big part of growing up for me. I went to all the games as a youngster which is why, when I had the opportunity, I jumped on board as a sponsor in their time of need.
Can you play a musical instrument?
No, I did try to play guitar, but it was taking time away from my sports so I let it go. I could probably still play a decent rendition of Norwegian Wood (a song by The Beatles) but, realistically, I got into it too late.
What do you like to cook?
I do a mean pasta Napoli and breakfasts are a speciality of mine. Breakfasts and barbecues. I love running the barbecue and teaching my six-year-old son how to cook sausages properly.
What do you think makes Sydney a great place to live?
I’m Sydney through and through, it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and it’s all about the water. With the wide variety of beaches and the harbour you can always find something to do, or somewhere to sit and just take it all in.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I’m a strong believer in family so, whenever I have spare time, I spend it with my family. I used to enjoy coaching rugby but the pressures of running three businesses and the birth of my son meant I had to step back. I’d love to take it up again; there are a lot of similarities to business, bringing a team together around a shared goal and getting the best out of everyone.
Name one Australian who you consider inspirational?
There are many people to choose from, I’ve spent years learning from some of Australia’s brightest business leaders. Both Lindsay Fox and Chris Corrigan are industry stalwarts who have grown their businesses brilliantly. I’ve spent a long time poring over their approach and marketing. There’s so much to learn from people if you’re open to it.
Is there a social cause you feel passionate about?
There are a few but homelessness is a particularly big issue that I want to help address. I heavily support Foodbank, a global movement to provide food to those in need. In Australia they have just passed 150m meals donated in NSW and the ACT. It’s sad they need to do this and it’s important to me that we help people survive better. Government and business need to work better together to solve this.
Is there a famous ‘saying’ that you like?
“Don’t sweat the small stuff”. And understanding the Pareto principle, the 80/20 rule, and focus on the 20% of action that causes 80% of the effect. Once you know what it is, you can become productive in any environment.
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This article appeared in the November 2019 edition of DCN Magazine