Gerrard Sgro, known to most as Gebsy, a tiler by trade, identical twin and just a bloody nice guy! Like the rest of the TILE junket team, he values family, loves tasty beers and a good laugh – see why I love working here?
Gebsy’s knowledge and experience in the Geelong tile industry exceeds 15 years and is a valuable asset to the showroom. Although he is General Manager, nothing is beneath him, down to earth and willing to give a helping hand to anyone. If you are a friend of Gebsy, you have a friend for life and he’ll probably help you with some tiling around the home if you provide the beer. Meet Gebsy…
Tell us a bit about your background – What path lead you to joining the family business and now acting co-director?
When I was 14 I started my first full time job at Bargain Tiles (now National Tiles) in Grovedale. Dad was the sales manager at the time and I started off in the warehouse packing jobs, driving forklifts etc. It was in this role I began learning about tiles, stone and the products associated with tiling. Here there were a lot of old stock and discontinued items and I was able to extend my knowledge far beyond my current era; this is something that still helps me to this very day. If I come across old tiles or outdated methods, I know the back story and already have the answers to fix; becoming the authority on it.
Whilst still young, I briefly worked as a pastry cook then found myself back in the tile game, this time “on the tools” working for my dad’s tiling business.
The following years I became qualified, self-employed and working in tile sales until my Dad and twin brother Mick (who joined forces) made me an offer to come work with them – so I joined SGRO TILING.
Down the track we opened our own tile trade store, all three of us business partners and BOOM we had a trade shop supplying tiling tools, glue and grout to the trade. Five months after, Pat (brother and current co-director) joined the business.
Fast forward to now, Mick and Dad have moved on to their own ventures while Pat and I continue evolving the business to what TILE junket is today. A long time has passed from our humble beginnings but as they say the rest is history.
Above: Left – Right, Mick & Gebsy building the TILE junket reception desk
What does a typical day at work involve for you?
Most mornings I try to get in a bit earlier then everyone else to get my day sorted and refocus.
After a quick catch up with Pat we set off in our different directions for the day. Currently I am defining my role as General Manager, a position that I have found both challenging and rewarding so far.
As far as my day goes, I meet with our staff regularly and also negotiate any job that needs my attention within our customer care system.
Pat and I are both partial to a good coffee so we catch up on a weekly basis at one of the great coffee shops Geelong has to offer.
How do you and Pat balance your different strength within the business?
I have a long history in tiling and the industry in general, I find this is a great practical skill to have and it compliments Pats skills of project and business management, working with teams and also playing the numbers game.
With my years of knowledge and ways of looking at business, deciding what can be done better and a drive to seeing it achieved, I feel more and more ways of going about my personal life starting to parallel in my business life.
In saying that Pat is very much a “results speak” guy in business and I am continually learning from him in this way. Pat has also had his own businesses before and I feel we both benefit from one another’s point of view as well as the willingness to work through something, not shy away from hard work and get it done.
Above: Pat & Gerrard at the Geelong Business Excellence Awards 2014
What is unique to tile junket, what do you think sets your business apart from others in a similar industry?
Real service is what sets us apart. It’s an ever increasing thing to hear our clients say they just can’t believe the level of service here. This is a huge credit to our staff, our systems and ourselves. From the moment our clients step foot into our showroom, I believe they have never been treated like they have in any other store, let alone a tile store. Concept Consult is the pinnacle in service for our clientele and we keep getting great feedback.
Who or what inspires you in your everyday life?
That’s a funny one to answer, it all depends on what aspect of life you are referring too. I am inspired by all of my friends in various ways training, cooking, playing hard….. I guess that’s why there still my friends? I am inspired by my wife, to be the best I can for our future and family. I am inspired by the greats like Jim Rohn and Jeffrey Gitomer in the way that you feel when you are listening to an amazing song. I am inspired by my business partner and brother to meet the challenges head on, don’t freeze with fear, wrestle with it, allow it to grow you, beat it and win.
What are you looking forward to?
Tomorrow, seeing how far we can push, making a plan and seeing how fast we can make it happen. From the next great idea, to the next big challenge, to sitting on a beach drinking a beer in another country enjoying the spoils of our efforts with those I love.
By Hayley Norman
TILE junket showcases the best tiles available in Australia from around the globe, right here in Geelong. Have the TILE junket Design Team assist you with your tile, colour and hard surface selection. Book your FREE CONCEPT CONSULT today.