From the ODT | The Brothers Born to Business
By Sally Rae, ODT | Posted: Wednesday December 26, 2018
A great follow up article to the Westpac Otago Business Awards 2018.
Mitre 10 MEGA Dunedin and Mitre 10 Mosgiel winners of the Otago Daily Times Excellence in Retail category and recipient of the Westpac NZ Supreme Business Excellence award at the Westpac Otago Business Awards 2018.
Otago businessmen and brothers Allan and Martin Dippie are the joint Otago Daily Times’ Business Leader of the Year. They talk to Sally Rae.
Somewhere in the Catlins sits an old crawler tractor.
Abandoned a decade ago, it represents the roots of a highly successful family business operation now spanning multiple enterprises throughout Otago and Southland.
Allan and Martin Dippie were Dunedin schoolboys when they came up with the entrepreneurial idea of selling ponga logs.
They headed to the Catlins at weekends to source them from farmers who were clearing land, trusted by their parents to take chainsaws and a truck, despite not having truck licences.
Martin attributed their resourcefulness to their Boy Scout background. It was a profitable business - better paying than Allan's newspaper delivery job at the Evening Star.
The boys had somewhat of a monopoly in the city and delivered the logs to customers at night. All profits were ploughed back into the business.
It taught them all manner of skills; from how to problem-solve - like getting out of a paddock when their vehicle got stuck - to dealing with machinery and marketing a product.
But possibly most importantly, it showed the entrepreneurial teenagers the value of having their own business.
As the source of the logs moved further from the edge of the bush, they realised they had to become more efficient, so they bought the Oliver crawler to make tracks into the bush.
It was later abandoned where it broke down, although Allan Dippie (54) does have a replica in his extensive tractor collection. ''We're going to have to mount a recovery expedition one of these days,'' he said dryly.
Read the rest of the article HERE.