5 Minutes with AIB Guest Speaker John Anderson

5 Minutes with AIB Guest Speaker John Anderson


At the AIB Adelaide Alumni Event in November last year, we sat down with guest speaker for the night John Anderson, founder of Contiki Holidays, to ask him some candid questions about his business journey and advice for fellow entrepreneurs.

What will your presentation cover and what do you want guests to take away from the night?

I’m going to tell my story, how I turned an idea into a product and now an international brand name. Really, it’s all about entrepreneurship, leadership, training, sales and marketing, and dealing to the competitor.

I’d like the guests to take away from my presentation a few key points. One is, don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen. And in choosing a career or a vocation, choose something that you’re passionate about, that you really believe in, so that it doesn’t become a job; it becomes a vocation.

What is your advice for building a productive work environment?

To build a productive working environment, I’m very much a believer in inclusiveness, so that you take your staff with you on the journey. Also, recognise staff that are achieving and give them that extra challenge to take them to another level.

How does practical education play a role in business?

In building a business, you have to absorb as much as you can from others that have also succeeded. Rather than reinvent the wheel, learn from others that have already achieved and see if you can adapt that to your business.

The secret of success really is believing in your product, believing in your service and believing in the staff that make it happen. You’ve constantly got to innovate, be aware of what the market wants, constantly change, and never let your competitors get the upper hand.

Another important area is honesty and integrity; one of the basic elements of business is being honest and transparent. If you’ve got an honest company, then you’ve got honest staff and you deliver an honest product or service.

The true success is believing in a product or service, constantly innovating and delivering what the market wants, encouraging your staff to be creative and have pride in the company.

This article has been constructed by Megan Baker from an AIB interview. The very best has been done to accurately reflect the thoughts and opinions of the participant. 

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