AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - Gallagher, one of New Zealand’s longest-running pioneering business success stories, took away two accolades at the New Zealand International Business Awards 2016 last night, named Best Large Business and also topping the Excellence in Design category.
The Gallagher story started when the late Bill Gallagher (senior) invented the electric fence, and started the company on a Waikato farm in 1938.
Since then, Gallagher has grown to become a world leader in electric fence systems, and used that success to expand into related areas including security and fuel systems.
The $200 million-plus company exports to 130 countries and has three manufacturing sites in New Zealand, and its monumental world headquarters sit proudly in Waikato.
Sir William Gallagher (junior) started working for his father’s company on the shop floor more than 50 years ago, and says it’s their Kiwi ingenuity that sets them apart from competitors overseas.
“Our whole business growth is based on being relentless in the pursuit of solving these kinds of challenges for our customers. It’s how we consistently drive out of the box,” he says.
Gallagher first specialised in agricultural electric fencing and took it around the world. It became the world leader initially in electric fencing for domestic livestock, then wildlife, then security for people. The company later expanded to wider security including card access and fuel systems. The group now has more than 1100 staff, and products spread across 130 countries.
Sir William says there have been many lessons learned that have become part of the company’s DNA – including its branding.
“With a number of acquisitions we had a confusing mixture of brands. One major lesson from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s team was that we would have more of a chance of getting recognition as an international technology brand with one brand, but not with the six or seven different brands we had morphed into,” says Sir William.
The company consequently brought the businesses under the one Gallagher brand.
Gallagher last won the New Zealand International Business Awards Governor General’s Award in 1983, when the awards were called the New Zealand Export Awards.
Gallagher is one of 700 companies NZTE focuses on extensively, to help them grow internationally, bigger, better and faster.