Enter into the fast lane

It's been a fantastic entry period for our Fast 50 awards but lucky for you there's still one day left! 

Entering is a fast and easy process and there's a variety of categories you can enter into whether you're a new business, a fast growing tech company, a big time exporter, a flourishing retailer, a remote agricultural business or a more mature one. See all categories here.

Being a part of the Fast 50 can offer you exceptional networking opportunities, an increased profile for your business and a morale boost for your staff! Enter here.

We had a chat with Michelle Basket - the owner of Ross Roof Group who won won the mature category in our Fast 50 awards last year. She explains the unique challenges and advantages of being a more established business servicing over 80 countries and what the Fast 50 has meant for her and her staff. 

Can you explain a little about the journey of Ross Roofing since its inception.

Ross Roof Group is a fourth generation family owned roofing company started by my Great Grandfather in 1942, he made concrete blocks and tiles by hand.  In 1958 the company Ross Roofing Ltd was started and we manufactured and installed concrete roofs and became the largest agent in NZ of metal roofing tiles. In 2015 we opened an office in Japan to service and manage the Asian markets. Earlier this year we also officially changed our company name to Ross Roof Group and Metrotile and Tilcor became the brands we currently sell to over 80 countries around the world.

What was it like to enter the Fast 50?

Initially it was quite a daunting but exciting thought to be eligible to enter the Fast 50.  All directors work within the business and we had been working hard for so long to make our business strategic direction and plans a reality.  After Bill Hale and Dean Ellwood suggested that we enter we were actually able to step back and realise our achievements actually put us into contention of being a business that fit the criteria.  It felt very rewarding to be recognised for this.

What did you gain from it both personally and as a business?

Personally it made us realise how much we had actually achieved given we were a mature business compared to the new start-up companies that sometimes only have been in business for 4 years. They achieve amazing results but their sales start with a zero balance, so they easily fit the criteria in 3 years if they are very successful.

How did you find the festival?

The festival was a great positive day where like-minded business people were able to come together and celebrate and share their success stories.  A large range of different industries were represented and this enabled you to network and gain insights into other peoples struggles and success. The speakers were motivational and gave you different concepts to think about implementing in your own business.  Delicious food and wine complemented the day.

What challenges do you think mature businesses face that younger businesses don’t?

Mature businesses need to get out of the mind set of been there, done that. You need to be able to be constantly evolving and changing your approach to certain aspects in your business to be selling essentially the same product year on year and learn how to capture the next opportunity. You also need to be able to restructure your business to adapt to the changes required to stay successful.

What advantages do mature businesses face that other don’t?

Mature businesses have the advantage of their history to identify successes and failures and can use this knowledge when determining their next strategic direction and goals. We also have an advantage with staff - we have a person working with us that has been with us on and off for 50 years and turns 70 in August and his knowledge is invaluable. 

What advice would you offer other mature businesses thinking of entering?

I don’t believe we celebrate success enough and it is a great acknowledgement to everybody who works within your business that together you have consistently achieved amazing results.  Everybody struggles to take a whole day out of their work place in this busy world but it is energising to speak to up-and-coming successful business people who are so enthusiastic.



Emily is a Senior Advisor in the Deloitte marketing team who knows that behind every great business lies a great story. She loves talking to inspiring people who are thinking outside the box to create a thriving SME sector in New Zealand.