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Picking the best of the bunch


“We've always got crops being picked and money coming in from a business management point of view.” - Hardeep Singh



One of the main reasons I enjoy getting out and meeting customers so much is to hear the stories of how they started and have grown their business.


For me, banking is about people and about backing entrepreneurs - people who are great leaders and business managers.


One great example of this is the team at Gill Farms – founded by Billa Gill and now run by his sons Hardeep and Danny Singh. On a trip to Mildura earlier this year I met with the family and heard Billa's story – moving from New Zealand to Australia in 2005 and setting up this immensely successful and very diversified business from a very modest start.



At the bank, we look for businesses with great leadership - people who have a vision about the future and understand what's going on in the marketplace, people who show flexibility and the ability to adapt to the changing world.


Finance and Operations manager Hardeep says his father started their family business with a 20 hectare almond farm – a relatively small investment which has since grown to 1,000 hectares of almonds, avocados, citrus and wine grapes being harvested 300 days a year.


“It’s a good diversification,” Hardeep explains. “Having one crop can be difficult with cash flow and the fluctuation in commodity prices… We've always got a crop being picked and money coming in from a business management point of view. It's a great structure to have and keeps our staff very busy moving from one crop to the next.”


ANZ Relationship Executive for Corporate Agribusiness Richard Cotter says the bank has been able to support Gill Farms’ growth story over a number of years.


“They've acquired multiple assets… and it's been able to help both diversify and grow,” he says. “There's been complexity to their business and a lot of value adding.”


Richard says Gill Farms has worked with both the local banking team in Mildura as well as the corporate team from Melbourne to assist with the business growth.


We know our customers want to talk to people who understand their business - who understand agriculture, farming, mining or construction - whatever it might be. That's exactly what ANZ brings.


We organise our business around industry specialisation so many of the people in our agribusiness team come from farming backgrounds. And ANZ has deep knowledge of the regional markets - we've been around Asia in particular for a long time so we understand China, Taiwan, India, Singapore etc. That really adds value to a customer like Gill Farms.


Hardeep says he’s optimistic about the future for Gill Farms and demand is increasing every day.


“Agriculture and horticulture are good industries to be in. It suits our family structure and the family business so we're expanding all our commodities each year,” he says.


You can learn more about Gill Farms by watching the video above.


Shayne Elliott is CEO of ANZ


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