Jack Gance, Chairman and co-founder of Australia's largest pharmacy franchise retailer, Chemist Warehouse, has been announced as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2023.
Selected from a group of seven finalists recognised for their purpose-driven leadership and entrepreneurial spirit, Mr Gance was named winner at the awards ceremony on 30 March in acknowledgement of his groundbreaking transformation of the Australian pharmacy industry.
Chair of judges, Shark Tank investor, and founder of Greencross Dr Glen Richards said: “The judges were unanimous in our decision that Jack Gance is an iconic and serial entrepreneur whom we are proud to put on the world stage of entrepreneurship at EY’s EOY in Monaco in June. From the beginning, the Chemist Warehouse journey has always been focused on adding value to Australian households by providing a wide range of health, beauty, and wellness products (over 35,000 to date) at the best possible prices for their customers.”
“Under Jack's leadership, the Chemist Warehouse team has delivered excellence in merchandising, continual innovation with their evolving pharmacy and retail business model and provided outstanding value to millions of households across Australia by helping to make health care affordable,” Dr Richards said.
Mr Gance opened his first pharmacy store in 1972, promptly developing a distribution business through pharmacy in Australia. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he established the iconic Le Specs, Le Tan, Australis, and Colours of Australia brands before selling them to build the My Chemist Pharmacy chain during the 1990s, which led to the development of the Chemist Warehouse pharmacy empire in 2000. Today, Chemist Warehouse dominates the pharmacy markets in many countries and continues expanding by growing markets and market share.
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Australian Leader Justin Howse said: “Jack is a disruptive pioneer. His focus on the customer and drive to provide Australians with access to affordable, discounted prescriptions are evident throughout his career and came through in his presentation. Jack had a vision for the future of Australian pharmacies, and brought this vision to life through passion, persistence, drive, and dedication.”
“Chemist Warehouse, with Jack’s innovative leadership, revolutionised the Australian pharmacy landscape and took the industry by storm globally. His humble, yet dedicated, approach continues to propel the industry forward on an exponential scale,” Mr Howse concluded.
Since 2001, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ program has recognised ambitious leaders who build and sustain successful, dynamic businesses that leave a lasting positive impact in the communities in which they operate.
Mr Gance was selected from a group of seven finalists from around Australia, which included Claire Wittwer-Smith, Founder and Executive Director of My Plan Manager, Marcella Romero, Founder and CEO of Arriba Group, John Winning, Chief Executive Officer of Winning Group, Andrew Barnes and Chris Eiglend, Co-CEO and Co-Founders of Go1, Doug Brooks, CEO of Brooks Hire, and Sean Senvirtne, CEO of MyDeal.com.au.
This year, Doug Brooks, CEO of Brooks Hire, was also recognised with the People’s Choice Award and Trevor St Baker AO was celebrated as the Champion of Entrepreneurship.
Commonwealth Bank Group Executive of Business Banking, Michael Vacy-Lyle, said,
"Congratulations to Mr Gance for his inspiring efforts advancing the pharmacy sector, and to all the finalists who are making valuable contributions to the business community and the wider economy. At CommBank, we are proud to be able to support the success of Australia’s entrepreneurs and highlight the continued importance of innovation in times of change. "
Mr Gance will continue forward to represent Australia in June at EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ in Monaco.
To find out more, please head to https://www.ey.com/en_au/entrepreneur-of-the-year/australia