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EXCLUSIVE: How $4500 grew ... and grew ... and grew

Mike Gee | Aug. 1, 2014
It was nearly 12 years ago in November 2002 that Dominic Whitehand, his wife Sharon, and Jonathan Odria each put $1500 down on a table - and began WhiteGold Distribution.

WhiteGold were perfect for Exclusive Networks Group (ENG) which was looking to move beyond its EMEA operations (21 countries) and into Asia-Pac. ENG was perfect for WhiteGold — at least they were when the trio had time to think about the future.

Domenic says they had a feeling three years ago when the business really began to take-off — it recorded 38 per cent year-on-year revenue growth that year when the majority of other ICT business were either flat or noting downturns — that they should start thinking about the future.

"Then we had several years that were so busy [think 62 per cent and 51 per cent, year-on-year growth, respectively] they just flashed by, so we were kind of surprised when we were approached at the beginning of this year. Then, because we were so busy again, we took two or three months to really respond."

Odria: "For us this is not the end but a new beginning, a springboard into the Asia-Pac region. There's a lot more to come. It's exciting. We will continue to build the business to take it to the next level. It allows us to leverage our exclusive branding and make alliances we may have missed out on in the past."

For Domenic, the initial dream of creating a sustainable business with the unified value distribution model he has championed since day one now moves to another level. And for these three people who just kept pushing and pushing and pushing, even when things were really tough, who, with every success, kept moving the goals, it's ultimately satisfying to now be able to take their model to the world. The benefits will also flow on to WhiteGold's 18-month old NZ business which is already profitable. "We want to add and grow that business as much as we can," Domenic says.

The bottom line though in this success story is simple: "We get to continue doing what we have been doing all along — being disruptive to the channel. And on a much bigger scale," he says. "And you know what's special? We always wanted to be a model for younger people to show that you can do it. That you can start from scratch and if you work hard and keep hitting your goals you can succeed. We are all immensely proud of that."

It goes to prove that $1500 goes a very, very long way.


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