What do you do?
I’m the Co-founder and Managing Director of Thankyou Group, a social enterprise that sells food, water and body care products to fund aid projects in developing nations.
Couldn’t live without…
I’m happiest when…
I’m with my wife.
Hot chips. Controversially, I’m a soggy chip person.
Fonda Mexican in Richmond, Melbourne. Hands down the best place to go for a cheap meal that tastes great.
To chill out and unwind I like to…
Head outdoors. It sounds a little cliché, but being outside and around nature really helps me unwind and relax.
You’re passionate about inspiring others to dream big and do what others might believe is impossible. What’s your biggest dream?
To see Thankyou become a household name so we can go from helping thousands of people, to hundreds of thousands and then one day millions of people around the world. The motivation behind what I do every day is the individual stories of lives that have been changed, and this really hit home for me recently when I went over to Kenya and Burundi to visit the projects we’d funded. I listened to people tell me about how safe water or food aid had dramatically improved their lives. It’s an incredible feeling to know that what I’m doing each day is contributing towards change.
You founded Thankyou Water at 19. What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
I’d say that the biggest challenge in our journey was the initial launch of Thankyou Water back in 2008. We were told that we would need hundreds of thousands of dollars to launch the product, which was pretty tough for a group of university students to hear. But by getting people to believe in what we were doing, we formed the right partnerships that helped us get the idea off the group. By some kind of miracle we were able to launch the product minus the large amount of cash we were told we’d need.
Thankyou Water has recently expanded with the launch of two new brands, Thankyou Food and Thankyou BodyCare. What was the drive for this?
From the beginning, we never saw Thankyou as only being a bottled water company. The reality is that while water access is a huge issue and one that we are very passionate about, there are other huge issues that need attention. While visiting one of our projects in Cambodia and Kenya we saw that while people needed water, they also needed health and hygiene training to go hand-in-hand with safe water supply. There was a great need for food aid and long-term sustainable food training too. It was the awareness of those needs that drove us to launch the new products. Now we provide not only safe water solutions through the water range, but food access and health and hygiene training through the food and body care range.
Favourite holiday destination to visit and why? Plus where to stay when visiting?
Whitsundays, Queensland. My wife is originally from far north Queensland so we head up there to visit her family when we can, and a few years back we tacked on a trip to the Whitsundays. We stayed in Reflections Apartments, which is a great spot.