Category Archives: Business

The Brand Laureate

My sincere thanks to the Asia Pacific Brands Foundation for recognising Blackmores with the Brand Leadership Award 2014/2015, the Best Brand in Wellness – Natural Health Solutions, and for naming me Nutraceuticals Man of the Year.  I was humbled and so very proud of our wonderful team in Malaysia.

The Brand Laureate is given to brands that have demonstrated strong leadership and performance.

They graciously published a feature on Blackmores.  You can read it here:

Click to access Blackmores_article_spread_web.pdf


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The Medal Maker

Copyright Victor Kovalenko 2014

Copyright Victor Kovalenko 2014

Someone who inspires me…

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover!”
– Mark Twain

Two of my greatest passions are Blackmores and competitive sailing, so it is little wonder that the numerous metaphors that align business performance to yachting resonate strongly with me.

Sailing and business are both impacted by who is ‘at the helm’, the tactics employed, adaptation to changing external conditions, the effectiveness of the team, the ability to read the conditions – the analogies are endless.

A couple of years ago, I invited Victor Kovalenko to speak to a team of business leaders within Blackmores and he did not disappoint with his wise words.

The Australian Sailing Team Head Coach, Victor is known as ‘The Medal Maker’, a title the humble Ukrainian-born coach is embarrassed by.

He has a unique gift for getting the best out of people. He brings high levels of discipline to the teams he coaches. He is never complacent about the success of his teams after a win and sets new challenges and reshapes his approach to achieve greatness.

He is currently working with Mat Belcher, Rolex World Sailor of the Year who won gold in the London Olympics, and Will Ryan, an up-and-coming talent. Mat and Will are the current world champions in the 470 yacht class.

I’m proud to be part of the supporting team and love seeing a wind-filled spinnaker sporting the Blackmores brand.

Victor has said, “I think of life and use it as a role model. Life is like a big race – sometimes you win by skill, sometimes you are lucky to meet interesting people and learn from them.”

As a sailor and as a great Australian, Victor Kovalenko is someone I’ve learned from. He places as much value on character and friendship as skill and discipline. He knows that in sailing, as in life (and business), there is skill and technique but it is feeling and passion that will take you over the line first.

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Forgive me, but I’m suspicious

I have never subscribed to the conspiracy theory when it comes to complementary and alternative medicine practice however the latest proposal from the TGA may yet be another nail in the coffin. The TGA has put forward a proposal to treat Naturopaths, Herbalists and Homeopaths as “general public” with the aim to regulate information produced for these healthcare professionals in order to “manage public health risks” (Remember Naturopathy and allied practices were once banned in the US and previous attempts to ban naturopaths in Australia was thwarted by my father Maurice Blackmore and his colleagues in Queensland in 1955).

Are we returning to the dim, dark ages of the past you may well ask?

Is there a link between the efforts of the so called ‘Friends of Science’ and the decision by Sydney’s Macquarie University to no longer teach Chiropractic, or for Southern Cross University to no longer teach a basic Naturopathic course, or the attempts by the Friends of Science to curtail NHMRC funding for complementary & alternative medicine? (or ‘pseudo-science’ as they call it!).

If you wanted to orchestrate a campaign to eliminate a profession, you would first eliminate their university education, you would make sure there was no research for the profession and then simply make it illegal for them to access their ‘tools of trade’… Too provocative, maybe not?

Maybe this is just a ‘proposal’ from the TGA but why contemplate such a draconian proposal for this profession when there is little or no data to show harm being done, quite the contrary.

The reality is that one in three of all medical consultations in Australia today is with an alternative health professional. I don’t wish to be alarmist but I dearly hope that common sense will prevail.

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