Primo scoops Taranaki’s top business award
Broadband provider Primo took the top honours at Taranaki’s business awards last Saturday and scooped a number of other awards. As well as being named the Supreme Award winner at the TSB Taranaki Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards, the New Plymouth company picked up awards for Technology Excellence, Business Continuity Excellence and Medium Business Excellence. […]
Broadband provider Primo took the top honours at Taranaki’s business awards last Saturday and scooped a number of other awards.
As well as being named the Supreme Award winner at the TSB Taranaki Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards, the New Plymouth company picked up awards for Technology Excellence, Business Continuity Excellence and Medium Business Excellence.
Company owner and Top Dog, Matt Harrison, thanked the community for supporting the company and pledged to carry on its support in return.
“Every company aims to turn a profit, but we know it’s our customers who make the business we are today,” he said.
“That’s why we’re proud to support our community groups and we’re proud to be able to say we sponsor well over 100 not-for-profit and charities in the Taranaki region.”
“It’s our way to give back and say thanks. It’s all about locals supporting locals.”
The Supreme Award was presented by TSB CEO Donna Cooper, with the judges’ saying Primo’s growth was impressive, going from a start-up to a substantial company of 24 staff looking after previously under-served rural communities.
The judges highlighted Primo’s commitment to customer service, its community outreach work and its leadership which allows it to navigate a fast-changing industry.
“Primo is a Taranaki company through and through,” Matt Harrison told the audience at the packed TSB Stadium.
“Since we started in 2006, we’ve been lucky to have a great community of customers in the rural areas with our wireless broadband, and now in the urban areas with our fibre broadband.
“And while we didn’t have the best of everything, we always made the best of everything we had.”
The Technical Excellence Award, sponsored by Our Cloud, was collected by Primo’s site team leader Andrew Gernhoefer. Due to the company’s quirky job names, his official title is the Erection Specialist, mainly due to his organising the construction of the sites around the region.
The judges said Primo has designed and built a wireless internet network, producing clever solutions for customers in remote locations.
Also getting a laugh was Andrew’s description about the different skills base of Primo’s people.
“We’re a rare mix of computer geeks and tradies, ultra-practical all-rounders that can kick your arse on Xbox but at the same time build an epic fence too. And from what we’ve seen out there we could give some Taranaki farmers a run for their money.”
Callum Glennie accepted Primo’s award for business continuity excellence sponsored by Taranaki Emergency Management.
Known as the Business Concierge, he says resilience is built into Primo’s network, and its operations.
“Keeping things going is a vital part of our infrastructure. We have over 4500 Taranaki customers relying on us now, and some of those have crucial roles in our region’s industries and disaster situations.
“Our sites have back up power systems and can reroute data if a tower or link is knocked out. We can provide fast, reliable broadband even if the fibre network goes down due to an act of God, or more likely, as an act of the guy on the digger, commonly known in our industry as spade fade.”
Matt Harrison summed up the night’s success reflecting on what has been a roller coaster ride in the 15 years since he started the company as a computer gamer living in Inglewood.
“In the early days of Primo there were many days when I felt like quitting, but the key to our success is to think about why we started and then just keep on going.
“Someone once asked which is more important, the journey or the destination. The answer for me is most definitely the company. I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by some amazing company. Particularly Jasmine my wife, and my rock, who has been with me for more than 20 years.
“From the start we wanted to change peoples’ lives and do great things!”
Photo: Primo’s haul of award trophies from the TSB Taranaki Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards with, from left, Dianne Holton, Jason Holton, Matt Harrison and Jasmine Harrison.