Managing Director & Co-Founder, Thankyou Group
Daniel was recently announced as the 2015 Ernst & Young Southern Region Entrepreneur Of The Year Award!
At the age of 19, Daniel was deeply affected by hearing about children in Africa who would spend hours each day collecting water for their family – water that wasn’t even safe to drink. After researching the World Water Crisis, Daniel discovered that Australians spend $600 million on bottled water each year, while in developing nations over 900 million people didn’t have access to safe water. The injustice of these two facts inspired Daniel to do something. He came up with the idea to marry these two extremes together in the form of a bottled water company that would exist for the sole purpose of funding safe water projects. Thankyou Water was born in August 2008.
Initially, Daniel and the team were faced with $250,000 of start-up expenses. Peers and established business people said it would be impossible to launch the brand. However, in late 2008 they landed deals with distributors around Australia and hit shelves of independent cafes early in 2009. It wasn’t until 2011 that they got their first major retailer on board with 7-Eleven Australia, after a dynamic social media campaign that captured the attention of the convenience giant. In July 2013 Thankyou Water rebranded to Thankyou with the launch of two new ranges, Thankyou Food and Thankyou Body Care. After a successful nation-wide social media marketing campaign, Thankyou’s products were taken on by Australia’s largest supermarkets, Coles and Woolworths.
To date, Thankyou has helped over 107,000 people with safe water access, nearly 112,000 people with health and hygiene training and almost 23,000 people with short-term food aid and long-term food security in nations like Cambodia, Kenya, India, Timor Leste and Haiti. Thankyou now has over 100,000 people in its social network community. The organisation also recently launched an Australian first app called Track Your Impact, which allows customers to see the exact project their purchase is assigned to fund. Daniel has been guided through Thankyou’s startup process by key mentors and advisors with experience in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, finance, legal, accounting, strategy, marketing, operations, human resources and international development. Thankyou has also appointed legal, accounting and independent audit firms.
Daniel was named 2014 Victorian Young Australian of the Year and also was awarded the 2013 Victorian Young Achiever of the Year title. As a company, Thankyou won the “Social Innovation Award” in the 2014 Social Enterprise Awards and was named ‘Youth-Led Social Enterprise of the Year’ in the 2013 Social Enterprise Awards. Daniel is passionate about entrepreneurship, leadership and inspiring others to achieve their dreams and do what others might say is impossible.