With more than a decade’s experience in charting marketing and export strategies around Pacific Island markets, Ian Furlong has honed his skills at reading trade winds and navigating companies toward success.
Ian has joined the Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) NZ team as Trade Development Manager based at the Auckland office. However, Ian is not new to the organisation, having led PT&I’s Path to Market workshops on trade and investment in several Pacific Island nations around the region.
Ian’s Pacific Island involvement go back to when he worked as General manager of Coca Cola Amatil based in Fiji. As well as manufacturing the company’s range of beverages, marketing and distributing them in Fiji, he was also responsible for exports of the product range to Samoa, Kiribati, New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
After his days at Coca Cola, he headed the Pacific Business Mentoring Programme where his role was responsible for the set-up, implementation and operation of the programme which utilised volunteer business mentors from New Zealand to assist businesses in 10 Pacific Island countries to flourish and grow. This was extremely successful having assisted over 1100 Pacific businesses.
Due to its success, the programme was expanded in 2012 into the public sector with the objective of assisting selected state owned enterprises to adopt a commercial management model in order to increase their efficiency and governance and therefore reduce input costs and pressures on business.
“I have been passionate about helping Pacific businesses flourish and prosper after spending three years living in Suva and seeing how many people have started businesses with very little support available to them. Helping such people become successful and create jobs for people in the Pacific is important and something I am passionate about,” Ian told Pacific Periscope.
“I am excited to join the team at PT&I as this allows me to pursue my passion and to do my part in helping the team at PT&I assist Pacific Island businesses to be successful.”
Having worked closely with hundreds of Pacific Island companies in a wide range of countries, Ian has intimate knowledge of the challenges that companies face in manufacturing and exporting as well as financing their businesses. His knowledge and expertise is complemented by a range of experts, whose skills he has gainfully applied to Pacific companies during his years of mentorship.
PT&I NZ Trade Commissioner Michael Greenslade said, “Ian brings with him a huge background of commercial activity in the South Pacific having lived in Fiji. More recently his involvement with Business Mentors for their Pacific mentoring programme has put him in direct contact with the national private sector organisations (NPSOs) having delivered several useful private sector partnerships.”
Mr Greenslade said Ian would be working directly with clients in the trade space and also leading the delivery of PT&I’s Path to Market capacity building programme, which he has already been involved in as a contractor for a couple of years now.
Ian is a keen golfer and a “conditioned Crusaders supporter,” according to Mr Greenslade. He is known among his friends for his sense of humour and his upbeat, optimistic view on life. He has a grown up family in Auckland.
You can email Ian at email@example.com