Me & My Job - Giles Gunstone, managing director, Growth Technology

Giles Gunstone, managing director, Growth Technology - image: Growth Technology
Giles Gunstone, managing director, Growth Technology - image: Growth Technology

- How did you get started? Our business was founded in Western Australia, supplying supermarkets. It was very hard work in greenhouses when temperatures would reach 44degC and we worked for six long days a week. However, we were developing expertise in mineral nutrients and we finally realised that this was where our future lay.

- What advice would you give others starting out? Start at the coal face, and make early investment in good people. Our first serious staff appointment in 1989 was a professional chemist - still with us. It was a huge call at the time but we can now see it as a key moment in our story.

- What does your typical day involve? I start around 6:30am with overnight emails. To be honest, the day is usually a jumble of meetings and phone calls - pretty much like everyone else's I guess.

- What is the best part of your job? I love the creative process of product development. It can be tortuous but it's very satisfying indeed.

- And the worst? I actually enjoy it all in varying degrees. I prefer doing things I am good at so I tend to keep well clear of the accounts side of the business.

- What piece of kit could you not do without? I am massively dependent on my gadgets. If I had to reduce them to one I guess it would be my phone - it's a camera, a GPS and a mini laptop.

- What is your greatest achievement? Our first serious product was a rooting gel called Clonex. We had no money so we mixed the sample batches by hand. After 20 years of struggle and effort it gives me enormous satisfaction to see it on the shelf in so many countries and so highly regarded everywhere.

- How do you wind down after a hard day? I try to swim mainly, or I potter in the garden or greenhouse. I usually doze off in front of the television.

- What is your greatest ambition? To stay on the right side of the grass for as long as possible. I am endlessly curious about what tomorrow may bring, so I need to keep waking up.


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