I’ve been quite fortunate to be with Online Republic since June 1st, 2005 (having been founded in 2004). I was the second employee hired – my job was to program the websites as well as work on Search Engine Optimisation. I have since since the company grow from 5 people to well over 100 people in the course of 10 years. My first desk was board placed on a huge stack of yellow pages books in a tiny section of the office with no air conditioning. What a difference a few years make! I have since then become a director of Online Republic.
The business was the brainchild of the brothers’ Ballantyne, Mike and Paul. The business started up by creating niche sites for car and motorhome rentals. Later on in 2008 we launched our cruise business for Aussie and Kiwi cruisers. As of 2015 we have booked over one million customers for online travel sites primarily through are flagsite sites AirportRentals.com, MotorhomeRepublic.com and CruiseSaleFinder.com.au. We also are also actively support new businesses in group, namely Search Republic and PredictHQ.
Our company has weathered many storms, the most tragic being the death of founder Paul Ballantyne in January 2011 due to melanoma cancer. He was in early 40’s when he passed away, but was my inspiration both as business leader and person. Paul help put our business on the radar, and he our small business the courage to take multi billion dollar competitors in Europe and North America.
My own role within Online Republic has been (and still is) quite diverse and interesting. I started out as lead programmer, but also worked on Search Engine Optimisation. I had a great deal of project management experience over the years working on several in house and outsourced software projects. I help the creative teams work on website design, helped with technical troubleshooting as well as finding new markets for our products. At one point I managed a portfolio of over 200 Adwords accounts in over 150 countries around the world! I also served on the board of directors with founders Mike Ballantyne and Sue Neale.
The job is challenging but I work with a great team such as our CEO Vaughan Magnusson and our new owners that help guide our employees to a bright future!