Published on 14 January 2014
A 29-year-old University of the Sunshine Coast Business graduate is the chief executive officer of a fast-expanding, Brisbane-based supply company with national coverage and a multi-million-dollar turnover.
Caleb Harry, who graduated with a USC Bachelor of Business (Management) in 2006, got his big break when he was offered the role of general manager of The KB Group in 2008.
“I’m now CEO and have appointed a general manager to take care of the day-to-day business while I focus on the company’s strategic direction,” said Mr Harry, formerly of Chevallum and now of Everton Hills.
“The ‘KB’ stands for Kawana Boys, a board of successful businessmen who live on the Sunshine Coast and are predominantly investors. I’m in charge of the business group as a whole.
“Our team has built The KB Group into an exceptional supply company for the civil, construction, mining, industrial and traffic control industries.
“We’re sustaining 35 per cent revenue growth per annum. I love this position and I couldn’t have done it without USC.”
Since Mr Harry became CEO in 2011, the group has launched two smaller companies, acquired another and is creating a support office in Hangzhou, China.
“We have eight branches throughout Australia and recently gained a huge tender servicing 70 mining sites,” he said.
The former Burnside State High School student said he had used many skills gained during his USC degree and intended to study a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University.
“My favourite course was Managing Organisational Change, which has proven useful over the years, and my International Business major also has been very valuable as I have dealt extensively offshore in my job,” he said.
“When I first came to The KB Group, it was not a healthy company. This was a stressful time and the business principles I had learnt at USC were paramount.
“Essentially, the management strategy that I had learnt from my tutors allowed me to keep focus on what was important, and within two years we had made a million-dollar turnaround in profit.”
— Julie Schomberg