Winner of Best Large Business (over $50m), and the special category Excellence in Design

The global firm Gallagher has won two awards in the prestigious New Zealand International Business Awards, continuing its proud history as one of New Zealand’s longest-running business success stories.

Gallagher won the Best Large Business award, and the special category Excellence in Design – impressing judges with its ability to reinvent itself.

The pioneering company 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.

Now 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.

The group now has more than 1100 staff, and products spread across 130 countries.

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.

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 won the New Zealand International Business Awards Governor General’s Award in 1983, when the awards were called the New Zealand Export Awards.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the awards, run by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) with strategic partner ANZ, which celebrate the success of New Zealand businesses on the world stage.

From the Judges:

“This icon of New Zealand business continues to reinvent themselves, and has a clear and well thought out approach to long term growth – with confidence to back themselves to do well. Great focus on R&D and the value of design”.

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