Skip Content

It's not everyday you organise a giant knitted jersey to be sent to England for a Rugby World Cup event, or send an Antarctic snow machine to Nouméa to groom sand beaches, but that's exactly what freight forwarder Alex Gukalo does for a job.

These are just a couple of the more unusual items his company Easyfreight has shipped, but thanks to the tools gained from completing a Certificate in Applied Business Growth, deliveries remain on the increase.

Alex arrived from Russia in 2005 with a background in logistics and while working for a shipping firm he had an idea to be his own boss. 

In 2010, he met customs broker Max Sherstobitov and the two partnered up their different but related fields and set off as an independent company with just five clients.

"We were advertising through Google ads, going to different events and became members of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, but we were lacking in managerial experience,” said Alex.

“We'd been operating for a while and were ready to make another step and grow a bit. Then we saw in Newmarket, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa offering great courses that were exactly what we needed." 

Initially they signed up for the Certificate in Small Business Management before they were transferred to Applied Business Growth based on their experience. Even so, they found the few small business classes they did attend, valuable. 

The vision they came up with then is still their vision today.

"Doing the course has helped a lot to understand processes. By using the knowledge we received from that time to now, growth profit-wise has doubled in digits, 24 to 30 percent growth per year."

They now have also employed three customer service employees to deal with more than 150 clients, mostly working in the small to medium import-export business sector. 

"People are different, experiences are different, (the) approach is different and the ways to get clients is different. Service is so important in New Zealand, you can't afford to lose a single client.”

"Marketing was where we really got a lot out of the course. How to advertise properly and put yourself out there so people can see, that was the most valuable.  How to show customers our best side."

 Back to news & events

Published On: 21 June, 2016

Article By: Carly Tawhiao



Other Articles

  • 18 October 2021

    The hard work starts at home

    Working with young people in Ōtāhuhu, Elaine Poutoa has seen first-hand the issues they face. Poverty, crime, bullying, homelessness, self-harm, Elaine has seen what it does to young people and wanted to do something about it.

  • 22 October, 2021

    Industry News

    (TITO) Update | Workforce Development Councils | Te Taumata Aronui | Centres of Vocational Excellence | Regional Skills Leadership Groups

  • 22 October, 2021

    Te Pūkenga Partnership Update

    Since the signing of the memorandum of understanding earlier this year between Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and Te Pūkenga the two organisations have been meeting regularly to colloborate on a number of workstreams in relation to RoVE.

  • 22 October, 2021

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Chair appointed to Board of Te Pūkenga Work Based Learning subsidiary

    Vanessa Eparaima, chair of the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Council Te Mana Whakahaere, has been appointed to the Board of Te Pūkenga Work Based Learning Limited (WBL).