Featured Business Leader: Peter Irvine

Featured Business Leader: Peter Irvine

This week’s Featured Business Leader is Peter Irvine, a leading entrepreneur, business expert and corporate leader who is also a founding partner of coffee juggernaut Gloria Jeans. With many years of experience in a wide variety of industries, Peter has a great deal of wisdom to share – and we’re thrilled to announce that he will be joining us as the special guest speaker for our Brisbane Alumni Event on May 21st, 2015.

With a distinguished business career spanning over 40 years, there have been many great milestones in Peter Irvine’s professional life. His career started as a junior with DDB Needham, a worldwide marketing and communications consultancy. He rose through the ranks of the organisations steadily, starting in media buying and planning roles – but his responsibilities grew steadily, and before too long Peter Irvine was working on major national campaigns as the Media Director and General Manager of the company. During this period, he worked on several key projects – including the Australian launch of fast food giant McDonalds.

He eventually rose to the role of Managing Director of DDB Worldwide – but this was not his only interest in the business world. In 1996, Peter Irvine decided to branch out and investigate new business opportunities – which is when he and business partner Nabi Saleh established the Gloria Jean’s Coffee franchise in Australia. With Nabi Saleh’s industry experience and Peter Irvine’s extensive business and marketing knowledge, the pair made a good business team.

Gloria Jean’s Coffee provided Australia with its first taste of specialty coffee in November of 1996, and the company has grown from strength to strength since. By 2004, there were more than 200 coffee houses open across Australia, and Gloria Jean’s was recognised not only for its products, by for its enviable franchising model, which was recognized in 2005 when Gloria Jean’s Coffees won the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Excellence in Franchising – Franchisor of the Year Award. With stores operating successfully in every state and territory of Australia, Peter Irvine and Nabi Saleh set their sights on global expansion for the brand.

The business partners successfully purchased the branding and roasting rights for all countries outside of America – and by 2009, Gloria Jean’s Coffees International Pty Ltd. finalised negotiations to buy Gloria Jean’s Coffees U.S. retail and franchise operations – completing their global standing. There are now Gloria Jean’s franchises operating in 39 countries around the world, but the brand was sold to fellow Australian company Retail Food Group Ltd. in late 2014 for over $150 million dollars.

Outside of his pursuits as a business partner, Peter Irvine is recognised as a thought leader in business, management, ownership and global networks. He is a published author, having written several books about business management, strategy, franchising, and people management. He also spends his time as a leading consultant on issues relating to franchising for businesses across the nation.

Peter consults on marketing, customer service and radical business planning, as well as franchising.

We’re thrilled to be able to learn from Peter’s incredible business journey at our Brisbane Alumni Event in May 2015. More details will be shared with our students, alumni and AIB community as they become available, but if you’re interested in attending, please email the AIB Events Team at alumni@aib.edu.au.

This article was written by Simone Ball on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources have been used to prepare this article: Peter Irvine, Gloria Jean’s Coffee and Wikipedia.

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