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Top10 Dynamic Entrepreneur: Errol McClelland on his strategy, surprises and future plans
Errol McClelland, founder of TumeriX
Fri 29 November 2019 - 10:20 amEntrepreneur | Featured
The second Top10 Dynamic Entrepreneur that we are happy to interview this week is Errol McClelland, who has single-handedly taken his company TurmeriX from a market stall in Victoria to a global distributor – with his product now in 12 countries. This is all in just three years…
TurmeriX is a healthcare business based on Turmeric, which now has an annual turnover of $20million. It all started when Errol was personally suffering with an ankle injury, and was seeking more natural ways to help his pain.
The marketed products he had tried had not worked, and he set about on a recipe that would actually solve people’s issues.
It’s fair to say that it was a worthwhile venture, as the company has soared in growth since inception and is now expanding into pharmacy and health food stores nationally. Further overseas expansion will hopefully see stockists in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Italy and mainland China.
We caught up with Errol to learn more about the behind-the-scenes information that future and existing entrepreneurs might want to know. We recently interviewed Errol before our Top10 awards, so you can find out more of his story here.
What’s been the strategy behind the growth you’ve experienced with TurmeriX? What were the steps from going from a market stall to global retail?
We are very proud to have grown TurmeriX from a local market stall in Daylesford (VIC) to a global distributor in just over three years, now sold across Europe and North America.
We’ve been careful to ‘get the basics’ right before expanding into new markets, noting the differences in health food regulation globally. We’re also big believers in test-driving a product for market fit.
A key part of our growth has been appointing talented, passionate distributors and licensees, whom we offer training to scale the company quickly and sustainably. Each licensee also runs their own internal training, and we trust they know what works best for their zone.
We ensure licenses are set up in the right zones and managed by great people, whilst negotiating achievable MOQs. Underpinning all this is a commitment to retaining lean, sleek business operations.
We’re proud of the team we have created, often organically built from our market stall roots – our first Victorian distributor was a man who asked how he could get involved with the business at the Gisborne Market.
Building trust with our audience in every region and product niche is super important, and has been the foundational basis for developing other growth strategies.
Did you expect Turmerix to become a global business and be as successful as it is now?
To be honest, I recognised TurmeriX had true worldwide potential when we first launched the product overseas in London, starting with direct selling interaction and building word of mouth from repeat customers.
Despite my past as a butcher and police officer, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset and knack for finding, sourcing and building solutions to problems I faced.
TurmeriX emerged from my personal need to fix over decade long ankle injury that stayed badly inflamed post surgery. I was given the choice to surgically fuse my foot, but denied the operation as I began research into natural anti-inflammatories.
Operating at a global level gives our business the benefit of economies of scale, and bigger purchasing power. We now have a dedicated factory to package products.
What has taken you by surprise as an entrepreneur?
I always think back to the first market at Daylesford in Victoria where I took a gamble by buying a tonne of stock, without truly knowing how successful it would be.
After selling nearly $3,000 worth of product in six hours, I realised this had legs. I always think back to that moment and am glad I took that risk.
Other than that, nothing really takes me by surprise anymore.
What has been the biggest highlight for you personally?
The feedback we have received from customers has truly been phenomenal, and I am personally thrilled to keep hearing how much of a positive impact our products are having on people’s daily lives.
The majority of people we’ve engaged as business partners are equally passionate, and share the stories of how our product and business has helped change their livelihood.
What does the future look like for the business?
In Australia, TurmeriX is focused on expanding its presence in the pharmacy, grocery and health-food market. We are working to expand our national distribution model, alongside further growing our portfolio (e.g. our TurmeriX hand cream and soap range). We’ve also been approached to tinker with a formula for pets!
We are also very passionate about making sure our packing as is environmentally friendly as possible, so are further refining this.