In the hot seat: Crossing the MP3 frontier

In the hot seat: Crossing the MP3 frontier

Powermove Distribution's John Ozmotherly talks to ARN

What was your first job?

John Ozmotherly (JO): My first job was pumping petrol at the local servo. It was back in the days when you actually received service: I'd clean windscreens, check the oil and tyres, and so on.

How did you end up in the IT industry?

JO: Quite by accident. I completed Year 11 and left school to take up an apprenticeship as a plumber and gasfitter. Four years later and with 'Apprentice of the Year' under my belt, I ditched the overalls for a suit and tie and headed off to Denver, Colorado, to serve a voluntary 18 months mission for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was a real eyeopener. I reckon I learnt more about people in those 18 months than I did the following 10 years. Upon my return I found it tough to get back into the overalls. A mate's brother owned Rob's Computer Shop. Rob invited me to attend an Apple University for two weeks, at his cost. If I liked it I could work for him in sales. Two weeks of hands-on with a Macintosh 512K and I was hooked!

How did you progress to where you are today?

JO: I eventually moved over to wholesale and worked for different distributors until niche manufacturer, GCC Technologies, asked me to set up their Australian office. Six years later I met the owner of Powermove Distribution and we merged the two businesses.

What do you like about your current job?

JO: The iPod/MP3 revolution is the fastest moving category the world has ever seen. Every day there is a new challenge, a new product, and a new competitor. Powermove is a fantastic company bursting with a team of fun, dynamic overachievers.

What is the biggest achievement of your career?

JO: The most prevalent one is opening the GCC Australia office and developing the brand into a national multi-million dollar business. No easy task considering the enormous challenges competing with larger, well known players that had million dollar-plus marketing budgets, established client bases and hundreds of staff. Our slogan was "they're bigger, we're hungrier".

What do you dislike most about the IT industry?

JO: Don't get me wrong, price will always be important, but the retailers/wholesalers who advertise and sell products at cost have a lot to answer for. It just lowers the standard and reputation of the industry because with cost-price there's no customer service. It's frustrating when we work so hard to provide an infrastructure of support and service only to compete with people who have little or no regard for their customers.

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