Time for a Catch-Up with... VetShare Ltd
Back in January 2012 Paul Rennie (CEO at VetShare) wrote his first guest blog for Vetanswers: "Comfort Zone... exit stage right... Welcome VetShare Ltd" where he shared his 'wobbly chair' analogy and discussed how unexpected events in life can sometimes push you out of your comfort zone. In March 2012, Paul followed up with another guest blog "Welcome VetShare...What's the Fuss About?".
Now it's four months down the track so I thought it was about time we caught up again to find out just what was happening with the newest veterinary wholesaler in the Australian market.
JG: So remind us – what’s VetShare again and why did you start it?
PR: There are three fundamental drivers as to why we created VetShare Ltd.
As detailed in the latest management forums, (Dan Pink ted.com) it is essential to know why you become involved in things like VetShare so there is clarity of purpose.
Autonomy … the urge to direct our own lives.
Mastery … the desire to get better at what we do, that is important.
Purpose … the yearning to do what we do, in a service of something larger than ourselves.
When we achieve the above we achieve engagement, engagement with our team, our clients and our industry that results in a good return on investment for our shareholders, staff, clients and industry.
VetShare Ltd is an Australian public non-listed company with Veterinarian and employee shareholders from Queensland, NSW, ACT, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. VetShare Ltd was established so Veterinarians could have an opportunity to have a share in a company that they could purchase their clinic requirements from … returning benefits to its shareholders and the Australian Veterinary industry.
JG: I know the closing date for becoming a part of VetShare was the 16thMarch 2012, and your prospectus stated you were seeking to raise $4,000,000 via the issue of shares – so how did it go?
PR:The prospectus was oversubscribed by nearly 50% with $5,800,000 received by the close of the prospectus. We did set an upper limited of $4,000,000 in the prospectus so regretfully not all applications could be either accepted or accepted in full … the support was overwhelming, particularly as it was a limited offering.
JG: What’s next for VetShare?
PR: Having raised the capital we have been developing the business from the ground up … leasing our modest warehouse / office in Smithfield Sydney, researching and then implementing our computer system including ecommerce ordering, gaining supplier agreements and most importantly gaining our drug licences and employing our fabulous team. As we started with nothing, there were at times 39 different projects running simultaneously.
JG: So when will VetShare actually start to trade as a veterinary wholesaler?
PR: We'll do trial orders in early August with a goal to ramp up the sales over September/October to our shareholders.
JG: Can any practice purchase their drugs from VetShare?
PR: The simple answer is yes, you don’t have to be a shareholder to purchase from VetShare Ltd, however in the first few months we are committed to ensure our shareholders are taken care of before we approach new clients.
JG: What will VetShare offer that is different from the other drug wholesalers?
PR: Put very simply … VetShare Ltd is owned by Vets (and our team) for Vets … all the benefits and value goes back to the shareholders, clients, staff and our industry. So our difference is the opportunity to own a share (15% maximum) of a company you can directly support and influence. .
JG: What have you learned from going through the start up process with VetShare?
PR: Without doubt the thing I have learnt is how important is to have a mixture of talents in the team and simply let them get on with it … the first mistake is to think you might know more about their tasks … you don’t.
JG: So how’s the ‘wobbly chair’? What’s keeping you awake at night? (See Paul's first blog: "Comfort Zone...exit stage right...Welcome VetShare Ltd")
PR: I must admit the wobbly chair has settled down a bit (not disappeared), mainly from all the support from the shareholders and non-shareholders alike, we are very honoured and thankful of this support. Apart from far too much coffee, I think the fear of “Have we thought of everything?” keeps my mind fairly focused and alert on the job ahead.
JG: What’s your vision for the future of VetShare?
PR: We'll build VetShare to be a great place to work, with trustworthy people to do business with, which will be profitable and give great value back to its shareholders, clients, staff and industry.
JG: So what role do you see VetShare playing in the Australian veterinary industry in the future?
PR: It may not be in vogue to say it however I still believe that our industry is based in a relationship/community business, one of caring and nurturing. One of the core values of VetShare is the creation of a “like-minded” network of people in our industry that are able to connect with each other on ideas and support for all of us.
Not underestimating the importance of the financial imperatives in providing a good return on investment, if VetShare was to foster this network it will have achieved something to be proud of and very worthwhile.
JG: Thanks for your time Paul - good luck to VetShare & we look forward to the next chapter!
For more information on VetShare Ltd, visit their website www.vetshare.com.au
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