Being suddenly retrenched from the family business was a slap in the face, waking Craig Fallshaw up abruptly. As a third-generation producer of pharmaceutical medicines, he reluctantly swallowed that bitter pill, going on to fortify his resolve, and forge his own way forward in this fiercely competitive sector.
Craig’s grandfather was one of the first suppliers to the Australian vitamin giant, Blackmores. But that dependence was the company’s Achilles heel. Losing that account meant overnight disaster for the small business on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Recipes and nutrition are a common factor in Craig’s career, and his life after school was initially as a chef.
There’s a theory that the best teachers are those who have spent time in the real world before going back into the classroom. Instead of going straight from school to university and then back to school as a teacher, the thinking is that they are better equipped if they’ve had some life experience outside the classroom.
Craig Fallshaw never wanted to be a teacher, but his decision to break away from the family business and ‘live life’ has been crucial to the success of his company, Complementary Medicines Group (CMG).
Craig was first introduced to the family business while still at school, spending weekends and holidays working for his grandfather. “He had been an undertaker and a builder before getting into the vitamin business, so I suppose I learnt more from him than I realised at the time. He had quite varied experiences before seizing on an opportunity that literally appeared across the road.”
At the time, the Blackmore family lived opposite and was manufacturing cough mixture on the family stove. As Craig recalls, “that launched a thirty-year business relationship with my family who undert