Andrew Hardwick’s passion is a hard edge stroke that emerges from his figurative entrepreneurial canvas. But this businessman who claims he wears his heart on his sleeve and in the right places has a soft spot for people and on doing good in the world. Put together, his qualities and experiences, good or bad, blend into a magnificent masterpiece that portrays his colourful business journey.
Hard Edge Managing Director Andrew Hardwick has always exhibited an enterprising spirit since his childhood. The youngest in a brood of four, Andrew brings to mind the days when he would do chores for his brothers and charge them for doing those tasks. This knack for business is something that may have run in the family as Andrew traces it back to his father, whom he illustrates as entrepreneurial and visionary.
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Working in the hectic world of entertainment, WooHah founder Arosh Fernando wears a smile on his face even when the movements behind the scenes – his part of the stage – can be frantic and chaotic. Oozing with positivity, his perspective about work, business, and life, in general, is to make the best out of the worst he got.
A week before the interview, Arosh had a surreal moment. His company was doing the Australian concert of American music groups Boyz II Men and TLC. There he was standing with thousands of people in the audience watching Boyz II Men, one of his favourite bands in the 90s. “I used to look up to them when they were on TV, on the Grammy’s. I’d go, ‘wow, these guys are crazy!’ And there we were working with them to put up their event,” an awestricken Arosh exclaimed.
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Leaving his business in South Africa, Bradley Cull moved to Australia without any business network or prior plans in this new place. But with courage and determination, he waded through unknown territories, acquired a company, and grew it successfully. His perseverance bore fruit when he took on the helm of Dynamic Developments Carpentry & Construction as its Managing Director.
“I found that leading and managing people anywhere in the world is the same. Human nature is essentially the same, anyway. Dealing with people is the same. The peculiarities are the cultural differences between Africa and Australia. That is the sort of stuff I need to get my head around a little bit better. That is a bit of a learning curve. But in general, running a company is quite similar. At the end of the day, business is an international language,” a contemplating Bradley Cull remarked.
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Short Story co-founder William Du subscribes to the adage that “if fear is the only thing stopping you, then you should do it.” It echoes Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words, “What we fear of doing most is usually what we most need to do.” They have a nice ring to it, but others will still steer clear of challenges. Not William though.
William has packed a lot of courage and guts to bring with him in his exciting roller-coaster entrepreneurial ride, which he shares with business and life partner, Carolyn Wong. They had a brief taste of the business world during their stint at the 30-year-old restaurant owned by Carolyn’s dad. They helped out by looking at systems and changes that they could employ in the restaurant. But when they were about to implement it all, the restaurant burnt down. However, everything was not reduced into ashes because the experience became a prelude to having a venture of their own.
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Curiosity ignited something within Bernie Fernandez, Executive Director and Founder of Agero Group, to start a business. That curiosity has constantly made him yearn for more. There are pros and cons to it, he fathoms. The thirst for knowledge can often be insatiable. Nevertheless, it is this same curiosity that has led Bernie to a perpetual quest for learning.
In the beginning, Bernie didn’t regard himself as curious. The discovery was quite peculiar. It was on his wedding day when it was his best man’s turn to give a speech. The fellow started highlighting his various characteristics. “I never met a more curious person in my life than Bernie,” the best man said about the groom. Bernie never realised he was a curious person before that. Those words just hit him in the face.
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Hard work, resilience and proper work ethics are some of the tools that BDS Projects Director Barclay Dixon brings with him in his entrepreneurial path. These are also the qualities that he finds useful in laying the foundation of a good business. His experiences and learnings, as well as the people around him, have moulded him to become the business owner that he is today.
But this man who has built buildings, homes and various other structures has remained down to earth. Barclay was hesitant to discuss his story, not because he didn’t want to, but because he didn’t deem it as striking enough. “First and foremost, I’m very embarrassed by this because, for me, it’s not the entrepreneurial journey. It’s just about a guy starting a business. Millions of people have done it before me. Millions of people would do it after me. It’s not a grand story,” he shyly warned. On the other hand, as you read on, you will find that it is something one can take inspiration from, especially that Barclay’s preamble to entrepreneurship is a bit off-the-beaten-path.
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