Michael Hill is Chairman of one of New Zealand’s most successful retail companies – Michael Hill Jeweller. He opened the first Michael Hill Jeweller shop in Whangarei in New Zealand in 1979. Within eight years his revolutionary selling techniques had spread throughout the country and to Australia. The formula included dramatically different store designs, a product range devoted exclusively to jewellery and high impact television advertising.
When the company listed on the stock exchange in 1987, it had 10 stores, including one in Brisbane. Currently the Michael Hill Jeweller chain has 263 stores in Australia, New Zealand Canada and the US and the aim is to become a truly global brand with 1000 stores by 2024.
When Michael Hill first launched his business his aim was to make jewellery affordable to the average New Zealander. Today the business has moved to a new level, developing a high profile brand. One of the key brand developments has been the Michael Hill watch, and the company believes it can produce some of the best watches in the world, which is where it wants to go as a brand.
In 2001 Michael Hill’s achievements were recognised when he received the Companion New Zealand Order of Merit and in the same year, his lifelong passion for the arts (in particular the violin) led to the establishment of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition, a biennial event for emerging young violinists from all over the world.
Michael Hill’s private golf course, The Hills, carved from a former deer farm near Arrowtown, was selected in 2007 to host the prestigious New Zealand Open for three years. The 2007 event was an outstanding success attracting worldwide international television focus. The Hills club house, an innovative underground bunker style building, was named Supreme Award winner in the 2008 New Zealand Architectural Awards.
In May 2008 Michael was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year and represented New Zealand in Monte Carlo competing against leading entrepreneurs from 50 countries in the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards - he was also inducted into the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Hall of Fame. In December the same year Michael was chosen as NZ Herald Business Leader of the Year.
In the 2011 New Year's Honours Michael became "Sir Michael" in recognition of his contribution to NZ business and the Arts.
Sir Michael is a New Zealand household name and his achievements are legendary. He is a professional and inspirational motivational speaker with a strong and practical message on how to achieve success in business and personal life - he's also written two books.
In his first book 'TOUGHEN UP - what I've Learned about surviving tough times' Michael agrees times are tough, but says rather than panicking as the global economy crunches, now is the time to reassess your business by asking ' What are we doing well? What could we do better? What sort of business could we become?
In his second book 'THINK BIGGER - how to raise your expectations and achieve everything' he believes people who have a 30 year goal will achieve bigger results far quicker than they imagine and challenges them about where they want to be in 30 years from now daring them to believe in themselves, get motivated and get going. His is a clear-eyed strategy; go after what you want, take risks and take care of yourself. In practical terms this boils down to reprogramming your mind (he calls this our 'necktop computer') and ridding it of self-limiting beliefs.
Sir Michael is an inspiring and engaging speaker - his philosophy is - “by sticking to the basics, the whole organisation is concentrating on the same goal: everyone is aiming at the bullseye."