The Vision Continues - Thanks from all of us at Century Battery
The Norman Emanouel story is one of determination and a single-minded dedication to any project which he undertakes.
His achievements (and they are many) are all more impressive when you consider he arrived in Australia in 1970, at 29 years of age, unable to speak English.
After 18 years of corporate life with companies such as BF Goodrich, Pacific Dunlop, his greatest challenge then came when Repco installed him as General Manager of Century Batteries.
At the time the company had serious difficulties in profit performance and had done for a few years.
After studying the situation, Norman applied his special strategies and within 8 months turnover had increased by $10Million and market share pushed the company to the 2nd position in Australia, in turn, the profitability increased for the first time in many years.
“I could see that inside Century structure there was a good company trying to get out, it was a challenge I realized, as nothing had worked until then and the company was on the down and out unless a major change was implemented”
After this, Norman’s responsibilities widened to include a muffler company in Adelaide which was also suffering from bad management. After six months, the company’s output had increased by 40%, losses were reduced to breakeven and the company was sold to a US exhaust manufacturer.
“Wherever I am, I see that things could be done better and faster, I just apply common sense and give people strong leadership”
Norman’s greatest coup was to come in 1988, when he successfully negotiated the sale of Century Batteries to a consortium involving Yuasa Batteries (the largest battery company in the world) and Gemala ( an Indonesian conglomerate) At this time he received 20% shareholding with a 3 years contract as Managing Director.
“Anything can be achieved, I enjoy the seemingly impossible tasks, because it’s much more satisfying when you finally break through and you see your visions become reality”
During his 3 years as Managing Director Norman helped Gemala acquire Exide, the largest Battery Company in the UK, and became a company Director for 3 years. During the same period, he completely changed the company to become profitable as well as building a large battery manufacturing plant in Indonesia.
Norman’s track record summarises the essence of the man, his determination and the personal satisfaction he gains from turning a sick business around.
“My accounting background helps, but my secret is simple. I strip away everything, until I get to the core of the business, its reason for existence. Once I get close, I can see what needs to be done, and work until it happens”
At the end of his term, he left the company by appointing a new Managing Director and handed over the company with a Vision of becoming Number One in Australia. In return, he received the following photo