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Young Enterprise Scheme Allumni Interview

posted Dec 21, 2008, 7:13 PM by Seeby W

This Interview is from 2005 - sourced from the YES website

Age: 29

School: Glenfield College

YES Company: Swift Swan Developments

Current career:

I am currently a director and owner of four companies, however my primary role is that I am the Managing Director and 80% shareholder of Orcon Internet Ltd. I started Orcon while still in university, and have grown it to the 4th largest Internet company in NZ by revenues in around 6 years. We have been ranked as the second best ISP out of 88 in NZ by readers of Netguide and we have won North Shore enterprise business awards 3 years in a row.

Greatest achievement:

I started Orcon with nothing but an old computer and a couple of modems, and have never put any other money or equipment into Orcon since inception. Orcon is 100% self-funding amd we are debt free. We have a network that covers the whole of Australia and NZ. We sell wholesale products to nearly 100 other Internet companies. YES was invaluable to me because it gave me the knowledge of how to set up a company, and the confidence to just go out there and do what I thought was possible.

Greatest flop:

Well - I wasn't doing very well at university in 1997 because I found a lot of the study a bit boring, and my knowledge from the YES scheme about how to start and run a company gave me the confidence to drop out of univerity to start my Internet business. This decision was also made because I was very interested in the Internet and I saw how fast it was growing and what a huge opportunity there might be.

Career changes:

I have really only: been to school, been to University, dropped out of University, run Orcon and continue to run Orcon (successfully I think) - So I haven't really had any time to change careers. But you could say that my YES knowledge helpded to change my career from doing an Engineering degree into becomming an entrepreneur (see above - greatest flop)

Career expectations:

My goal for the business since inception has always been to achieve 100% growth per year. I have done this every year except 2003. My major goal for 5 years is to reach $100M per year turnover with a minimum of 20% net profit margin. At this stage of the business I think that I have used up my YES experience, however I am now a member of the govornment's HiGrowth project to get 100 NZ I.T. companies to $100M turnover in 10 years (higrowth.co.nz) - so hopefully my goal will be attained.

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