Wyndham Business Awards: Craig

Finalists for the Wyndham Business Awards were recently announced.

We at Stockland Point Cook were proud to see several of our retailers be named as finalists, including Craig from Telstra Business Centre.

We caught up with the owner, Craig, nominated for Business Person of the Year.

*Update*: At the Wyndham Business Awards on Friday 25th August, Craig was announced as Business Person of the Year.

How did you come to work for Telstra?:
I came to work for Telstra 13 years ago. I’d been in banking my whole life up until that point & was doing quite well. I wanted to get out of corporate life & run my own business with some of the skills that I got. I had a look around at various different franchises, business models & the Telstra one was relatively new at the time. It had a big brand name & it had what I thought would be a business that I could actually grow beyond just a little retail store. That’s probably the reason for going into Telstra. There was no real passion around telecommunications, in fact I had no real idea about IT, I had to actually learn that. But really the drawing power of the Telstra brand. The fact that they would lead technology & technology would always be there & growing is probably why I got into Telstra in the first place.
It’s grown in that time from 6 people when I started a small retail store in Sunshine to approximately 60 now across 4 different sites. It’s exciting, it’s scary at times, a bit overwhelming & daunting when you realise the little business that you started is not a little business anymore. But we’ve got a great team of people around, a lot of people have been with me for years & that makes it a lot easier.

What do you enjoy about working here & being part of the business?
There’s a lot of things that I enjoy. So many of the team members that work with us, I consider them to be friends & a lot of people say that we’re a bit of a family. There’s a lot us who have worked together for 7 to 10 years. Being able to work with people over such a long period of time is unique, you don’t really get that in corporate, so that’s been really good.
The other thing is that I’ve got customers that have been with me for 13 years since I started & it was funny, watching their businesses grow with mine has been really valuable to me. I really enjoy having those conversations with business customers who remember where we started & we’ve gone on this journey together, which is really good. I also enjoy the technology, it just blows my mind in terms of how far technology has come, what’s coming & the kinds of things that can do. It never ceases to amaze me in terms of the things that you can do, it’s just amazing. Brave new world & it’s going to be braver.

What does this nomination mean to you?
I guess it’s a bit humbling, to be honest with you. It wasn’t something that I expected, it wasn’t something that I’ve sought . I don’t think we’ve even entered the business awards before. It’s humbling that someone would not only nominate the business, but myself personally. So I guess it’s a bit of recognition, gratitude on my behalf that people have recognised not only the business that I’ve built but the contribution that we’ve made. To the team of people, the customers & the staff that have supported me in the nomination. Plus you know I guess I am very community oriented in the way I do business. We sponsor a hell of a lot of sporting clubs. I give an enormous amount of my personal time to voluntary organisations mainly the Sanctuary Lakes Golf Club, I’m the chairman. It’s kind of recognition for a lot of that kind of work as well, which is pretty humbling.

What do you enjoy most about being part of this Wyndham & Point Cook Community?
It feels like home. I grew up in Hoppers Crossing. It’s great now to have a business in this particular area. I love the fact that I can talk to people across generations, I’ve got people from my father & grandparents era that come & talk to us, because they know the business is ‘us’. It helps me connect with a lot of people that I previously wouldn’t be connected with. It’s a really diverse, multi-cultural community.

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