You have to give the effusive and self-effacing Greg Shanahan his due.
He kicked off the TIN 100 report in 2004, and now in its tenth year of production it reflects the healthy growth in New Zealand’s ICT, high-tech manufacturing and biotech sectors.
As Shanahan told a Wellington audience at MoBIE‘s new headquarters in Stout St, the combined revenue of these strongly value adding businesses is over $8.3 billion, with $6.1 billion of that from exports.
That’s more than our forestry industry, and provides pretty well-paying jobs for over 35,000 people.
And, as is fitting for a decade anniversary, Shanahan reflected on the growth in the TIN sector, the changes he’s observed and, more importantly, what he’d like to see in New Zealand’s attitude to our successful businesses.
“Part of the goal of the TIN 100 is to help us move past the idea of plucky New Zealand punching above its weight,” he says.
“That’s rubbish as an idea, a type of apology.”
“It’s a bit like saying, that Greg Shanahan, he’s not as bad as you thought.”
A punching above your weight connotation is also rubbish since global competition demands that a company be a leader in its field. To maintain leadership, TIN 100 and TIN 100+ companies have been increasing R&D and sales and marketing effort as a proportion of their total revenue.
“By doing that, these companies are able to be price makers instead of price takers,” he says.
The summary of this year’s TIN 100 findings are:
- ICT growth remains strong
- Recovery of the high-tech manufacturing sector
- Healthcare growth is strong
- The USA recovery continues
Shanahan says he continues to be bullish about the sector mainly because he feels New Zealand is the right size:
- We’re small enough to be quick and large enough to be dangerous
- We’re able to do things more quickly, more efficiently
- Because we have poorer economies of scale [compared to other countries], we have to do things more efficiently
So, hats off to Shanahan and his team.
Without his sterling efforts we’d have no profile, no analysis and certainly very little celebration of these smart sectors.
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