25 years for Whites Diesels

Photography by: Homepix Photography

It’s been an interesting 25 year journey for the founders of bus parts supplier Whites Diesels

25 years for Whites Diesels
Whites Diesels Australia founders Darryl White and Rodney Hemaridis are celebrating 25 years in business this year

What started as a small business in Brisbane has gone nationwide and Whites Diesels staff are celebrating this success as they mark its 25th anniversary this year.

Founded in 1991 by Darryl White, the organisation started out as a modest parts supplier with a single workshop in Sandgate.

It’s now a nationwide operation with seven distribution points around the country and is one of Australia’s leading suppliers of bus and truck parts.

The organisation is renowned as the Mercedes Benz specialist, but also supplies parts for all other popular bus and truck models.

Although it hasn’t been easy, going from a one-man show to one of the nation’s biggest, it has been a memorable and rewarding journey.

"I had $10,000 and couldn’t even afford statements," White says.

"I had to put white stickers on borrowed ones and then my local suppliers pulled the rug out from under me."

No more wholesale prices, meant no more profit margin and at this point something had to give.

"I got on a plane, went to a trade-fair in Germany and sourced all my own parts suppliers," White says.

By taking the initiative, Darryl established Whites Diesels as a completely independent supplier, and was able to offer better prices and service than ever before.

As soon the Queensland business began to prosper, White saw an opportunity to expand into New South Wales (NSW) in 1998.

At this point, he partnered with a long-term customer Rodney Hemaridis, and founded Whites Diesels NSW.

Not surprisingly, the start-up phase of the NSW business proved equally challenging.

"The first month, I worked out of my car and we earned $400," says Hemaridis.

"The next month we leased a shed, the month after that we hired another salesman - each month things got better."

Twenty-five years on, both White and Hemaridis are still actively involved in the day-to-day operation of the business.

While board members, they’ve stepped back from their executive roles, with White running the second-hand products side of things and Hemaridis supporting the sales and product teams.

"If there’s one thing we’ve learned in 25 years of business, it’s that you have to know your strengths and weaknesses and focus on doing things well, not doing them your way," White says.

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