Home' micenet eMag : micenet AUSTRALIA December 2014 January 2015 Contents Q. What attracted you to the
A. Mostly the vibrancy and excitement of
the industry itself and the people who
work in it. It’s one of those industries that
attracts such a variety of people. I also
feel the sector offers great rewards for
those businesses that have clearly
defined brands, those that are
adventurous and creatively driven and
operators that manage well, but execute
their work even better.
Q. What has the last few months
working in this sector given you
that you don’t think you could have
A. I have spent the last 12 months
working with the management groups of
Keystone and PRG Restaurants in
crafting and securing this transaction.
This time has allowed me to view the
respective businesses and industry from
a bottom-up basis – something that’s
quite new to me. It’s been great working
with such a big team.
Q. Reflecting on your experience at
Network Ten and Keystone’s recent
acquisition of PRG Restaurants,
tell us about the value of strategic
partnerships in business?
A. The acquisition of PRG Restaurants by
Keystone is a classic example of two like
minded and well managed companies
willingly forming a strategic partnership.
The new Keystone Group has stronger
management, a vastly improved
geography (offering the former Sydney-
centric company a national footprint), a
larger and still deeply engaged customer
base and stronger buying power. This is
serving to provide customers, suppliers,
landlords and partners substantially more
value and opportunity.
Q. What is your advice for
maintaining a successful business
A. The key to maintaining any successful
business partnership is to firstly
understand and clearly articulate your
brand, its value and your needs - while
always displaying an honest and
transparent dialogue with partners. As a
former mentor of mine once said, “If you
tell the truth you don’t need a good
memory”. Wise words to live and work
by I believe.
Q. How do the mechanics of
business in the hospitality industry
compare to those in broadcast
A. The similarities of media and
hospitality are quite acute. Both
industries rely heavily on maintaining and
improving existing brands and
strategically crafting and launching new
concepts in market. Each receives strong
public feedback from their customers
and both rely heavily on a well managed
set of operations, strong sales and
marketing effort, and a clear and well
articulated proposition to market.
Q. What do you like about the
A. I admire that the hospitality industry is
a growth sector that services the needs
of a wide variety of customers across all
demographics on a continual basis. For
me, hospitality also offers the opportunity
to embrace creativity as well as cutting
edge technology to serve customers and
our business alike. Another thing that I
think is wonderful about this industry is
that it’s not hugely governed by
geographic boundaries and really
supports a culture of renewal, strategic
experimentation and a continued
willingness to improve and excite.
Q. How has doing business in
Australia changed over the past 10
A. Business in Australia, and globally, will
always change. However, what has not
changed is the fact we must listen,
evaluate and act on feedback from our
customers, suppliers and business
partners – and never become
complacent. Business in Australia
includes more real-time collaboration of
global economics, and the scale and
recognition of brands on a global scale
has increased immensely.
Q. What advice can you offer to
people considering a move into the
business of hospitality?
A. Just do it! Hospitality is a large,
profitable and exciting industry with
unique people in it. The sector is full of
wonderful examples of rags to riches
stories and wealthy to wealthier
After a stint as the CEO of Network Ten Australia, Grant
Blackley recently joined the Keystone Group and reflects on the
importance of strategic partnerships in business.
with a CEO
MEA 2015 National Conference
Join us on Hamilton Island from 24-26 May for the industry event of 2015.
It’s time to put your feet in the sand.
Register during Early Bird and go in the draw to
WIN 3 nights’ conference accommodation at the Reef Hotel.
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