Most businesses in Australia – about 70 per cent – are family businesses.
They control well over a third of the national GDP, employ most of the workforce and usually do the most interesting things, yet we don't hear much about them. Family businesses tend to go quietly about their business and keep to themselves.
That's why I've decided to start a special weekly series on Australian family businesses, looking at who they are and how they run their enterprises, both big and small. These are fascinating stories of real Australian life, about families and real business: when you read them, you'll be reading about how most of the Australian business sector operates.
The first is the Pearse family of Sydney, led by Fiona Pearse, 39, and her sister, Emma Cronin, 37, who run a courier business called Mail Call. Recently they launched an offshoot called wantitnow.com.au to service the growing online retail sector, so they are now at the front line of the digital revolution.
Their father Jeff Pearse started the business in 1982. He was trained as an accountant and had been working for Aristocrat Leisure, running the firm's UK and European operations.