HOW AN EX-LAWYER TURNED A $100K BUSINESS INTO A NATIONAL DELIVERY SERVICE WITH $50M IN SALES
Daunted by the prospect of a life spent working for others, one-time lawyer Martin Halphen quit a stable job to become the master of his own fate. Propelled by ‘blind courage’, he purchased a modest fruit delivery business for $100,000, believing, hoping, it would play to his strengths.
Despite some ‘hairy moments’, including a seven-year cash flow struggle that saw Halphen sell his family home, his investment in the business has more than paid off. Fulfilling around 30,000 orders, per week, from workplaces wanting fresh produce, The Fruit Box Group now boasts an annual turnover of more than $50 million.
Dynamic Business had the opportunity to speak with Halphen about the idea that ‘redefined’ The Fruit Box Group, the importance of being genuine about corporate social responsibility, why he doesn’t ‘crystal ball’ the business and his awareness that in order to achieve future growth, the business will need to be more than just a ‘two-trick pony’.
DB: HOW DID YOU SHIFT FROM LAW TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP?
Halphen: I don’t like referring to myself as an entrepreneur. For one thing, you should never use a word you can’t spell! Anyway, I started my working career as a commercial lawyer but, after three years , realised it wasn’t for me. I then took the first job that came my way. Working in operations at VISY Recycling in Melbourne, I was exposed to warehousing, fulfilment, logistics and systems. It was far removed from the corporate world I’d known but I found that refreshing – it felt right. I enjoyed four good years with the company before moving on. Read more
James Harkness - Dynamic Business - 2 Jun 2017