Glen Richards is an entrepreneur and an Australian veterinary physician. Glen is also a founder and CEO of Greencross which is the largest pet care company in Australia. He was born in 1967 at Richmond Queensland and grew up on a grazing property near Richmond NW Queensland. Living in the farm made him have a passion for animals and has loved being around them.
Richards would have been an accountant were it not for his father who advised him to follow his passion. This saw him enrolling to study veterinary science at the University of Queensland back in 1988. Later he continued with his studies and did a masters degree at James Cook University. The 52-year-old now lives in Brisbane, Queensland with his family.
Glen is a humble and devoted family man, always finds time to spend with them and bound despite his busy schedule. He married Lisa Richards and they have 3 daughters aged 16, 15 and 9. At home, he has two cats and dogs plus four horses that are found in their home compound. Glen is known to be someone that is a straight shooter and is not afraid to be direct and reveal his hard lessons in his career and life to his family and friends.
At an early age, Glen developed a love for animals as his parents had farmed sheep and cattle. His love for animals lead him to practice companion animal medicine and surgery in Brisbane, Townsville, and even London. This was after finishing his studies. At the age of 27, he had saved up cash and purchased Currajong Veterinary Hospital in Townsville back in 1994 for a modest some of $330,000 AUD. The hospital marked the start of his veterinary firm known as Greencross. After 10 years it proved to be a major firm in the country having a huge market share with five clinics established, and large store in Townsville, as well as two hospitals in China.
Although Greencross is the largest pet care company in Australia, Glen has opened up over 230 veterinary hospitals in New Zealand, China, and Australia. The firm has over 5,500 employees which include vets, nurses, retail team members, and managers.
Greencross, which has a 10% market share in Australia New Zealand, is an end to end pet products and service company that started out in the veterinary space but has branched into a whole range of services ranging from pet adoption, training, insurance, dog walking, pet hotels and more. Greencross also setup a rapidly growing online business to sell pet related products direct to consumers. The 2017 revenue topped at over $800m AUD. The business model focuses on engaging the customer and multiple times during their relationship with their pet. As an example, a customer would visit a retail store would be only a few times, while for services such as grooming a customer would engage Greencross three times as much. It’s this level of savvy insights that has led Glen to transform his vet from a health service to a thriving business.
He is also a non-executive director and shareholder of Petbarn Pty Ltd which is a leading pet retailer. The retailer has the largest stores in Australia and New Zealand. China retail has also branches in Puxi and Pudong. The retail store was established in 2001.
In December 2014 Glen retired from an executive role at Greencross Ltd. He is currently a director for six allied health and veterinary business. They include Healthia Ltd, People Infrastructure Ltd, Adventure Operations Australia, Naturo Technologies, CardioNexus, Pressure, and Smartvet Pty Ltd. Even though he has retired from his post at the company he still plays a huge role in ensuring the firm is doing things according to plan and in the right way.
After moving away from the executive role in the industries, he ventured into professional investor and mentorship programs. He is also on the board for ASX listed companies. His interest is mainly on scaling up the health and allied health companies. Glen has frequented many startup programs and has also taken part in some pitch events where he can guide young entrepreneurs
In 2016 he joined season 2 of the famous reality Tv series Shark Tank. He came in as an investor and replaced John McGrath who had left the TV series. Apart from being an investor and mentor in Shark Tank with co-stars such as Andrew Banks, and Naomi Simson. He also does public awareness campaigns. At these forums, he speaks to the business community and advice then accordingly.
He educates the budding entrepreneurs on the importance of having vision, planning, patience, passion, and people. It is part of his “V4P” message during the function. This kind of forum helps young entrepreneurs to know how to manage and promote their business.
He is the found of Greencross which is the largest pet care company. One of his brands is pet Barn is listed on the ASX and it is estimated to be worth $700 million. Glen’s shareholding alone is worth $10m AUD, this is on top of his properties and other assets. We consider Glen as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Australia. He is an example that any entrepreneur should follow his steps to be guaranteed of success in business.