The end of last year was a special time for ELE Group, being listed for a second year running in Deloitte’s Fast 50 companies after having achieved another twelve months of exceptional growth. To celebrate such success, the company was invited to attend November’s Festival of Growth – an all day business awards, conference and networking event held at the Villa Maria estate – to share in celebrating the success of New Zealand’s fastest growers. I spoke to Managing Director, Brent Mulholland, to get his thoughts on the experience and what it means for ELE to be listed in the Fast 50 once again:
How did it feel the make the Fast 50 list for a second year running?
It was nice to be recognised for the work everyone is doing. It’s a measurement of the journey of ELE Group and it’s also recognition of hard work. It’s an opportunity to celebrate, but not an opportunity to get complacent. I’m looking forward to the Masters of Growth [Deloitte’s Fast 50 category for more mature companies, based on five-year trading for companies with a starting revenue of $5.5 million] next year and, hopefully, we can do well in this category.
Did you attend any of the panel discussions and, if so, which did you find particularly interesting?
Yes, on SAP integration into a hospitality business and how they achieved that in a month – which is incredible. There was also an interesting talk by Ceri Evans, a world renown psychiatrist who has previously worked with the All Blacks, helping them to perform under pressure. I also heard Theresa Gattung from My Food Bag. I liked her story about the company and how they’ve developed.
What was your favourite part of the event?
Actually, listening to the speakers was one of the best bits. The speakers this year were all really good – some of the best they’ve had. Also, networking with likeminded people: people who understand the stresses, challenges and frustrations of building a business. It’s nice to meet and chat with people who have succeeded – you can learn a lot.
If you’re in a position to attend the festival next year, what would be one thing you’d hope for?
I’d like to win the Masters of Growth for one. It would be a lot of hard work, but, yeah, it would be great to achieve.
What will you take from the festival in terms of business ideas going forward?
Planning’s a big one: making sure we have a solid plan that’s still responsive to changes in the market. I also think we’ll be more mindful of being ahead of technology and understanding what’s available that can improve our efficiencies and help us better interact with workers and clients. In that sense, we will look for opportunities for innovation to shake up the market.