What it does: Distributes chemicals
Staff stats: Around 300
The good bits: Lots of autonomy
The not so good bits: Repetitive tasks
The Redox story
The company that is now Redox was launched by an Egyptian-born multilingual migrant of Italian/Greek heritage called Roland Coneliano in 1965. (Until his death in 1983, Coneliano was in partnership with another Egyptian-born migrant called Krikor Krikorian.)
Based in North Sydney, Coneliano and Krikorian’s business imported chemicals such as potassium hydroxide and magnesium chloride from the USSR and Eastern Europe and sold them to Australian distributors and merchants. After almost a decade going under the name C&K Industrial Traders, the company rebranded as Redox Chemicals, later shortened to just Redox. Around this time, it began selling chemicals to end users rather than just middlemen.
Between 1986-1991, the company set up offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. In 1994, it ventured overseas for the first time, setting up an office in Auckland to better serve clients with trans-Tasman operations. By the turn of the Millennium, annual sales had exceeded $100 million per annum. Throughout the 21st century, the company has acquired and upgraded sites, particularly in south-west Sydney. It also opened more New Zealand offices in Christchurch and Hawke’s Bay, as well as setting up shop in Kuala Lumpur and California. Plus, it acquired Bribos and Deltrex, allowing it to better service the plastics and rubber markets and expand its storage capabilities.
The company is now headquartered in an $11 million purpose-built facility in Minto, Sydney. After half a century at the helm, Roland Coneliano retired in 2015 but Redox remains a privately-owned family company. As well as industrial chemicals, Redox now supplies the food industry with sweeteners and other ingredients and sells detergents, solvents, pigments, water treatments and chemicals to the building materials, leather and mining industries.
Redox is now one of the largest chemical and ingredient distributors in the world, with annual sales in excess of $500 million and plans to double that figure by 2020.
Redox is an equal opportunity employer. It’s recruitment processes are based on “job requirements, individual qualifications and business needs without regard to race, colour, nationality, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability”. As well as being committed to “fair employment practices”, Redox aspires to provide employees with “a work environment free of harassment and discrimination”.
Redox is committed to ensuring anyone can easily access information regarding its operations and the chemicals, ingredients and raw materials stored on any of its premises.
Redox is also committed to the responsible handling and processing of chemicals, ingredients and raw materials at all times. Its operations have been recognised for their safety and cleanliness, with the NSW EPA assigning its Minto facility the lowest possible risk level for ‘Overall Environment Risk’ and the company receiving an impressive Category A rating for its environmental management. The company has invested heavily in fitting its facilities out with solar panels as part of its “strong commitment to practical environmental initiatives”.
Redox has never attempted to minimise its tax, happily handing over 30 per cent of its profits to the ATO every year. In words possibly never before uttered by a business owner, the company’s founder Roland Coneliano was given to declaring, “We love paying tax – we think it is the most patriotic thing you can do.”
The recruitment process
Every year, Redox takes on a significant number of grads with following degrees: agricultural science, agronomy, business, chemistry, chemical engineering, food technology and marketing.
Redox hasn’t made any information about its recruitment process available and it may vary depending on what department you are applying to work in. It appears the standard procedure is an initial interview with the person who will be managing you, then a second interview with someone further up the food chain, such as a branch manager or director. There may also be an online questionnaire that needs to be filled out.
While experiences will differ depending on the department they are working in, all grads are set up with a mentor and receive one-on-one training. They also get guidance from more senior staff, particularly in terms of developing commercial nous.
Redox’s remuneration arrangements are a little idiosyncratic. Salaries are modest but you should have the opportunity to supplement them with bonuses. All staff order their (free) lunch online and it is delivered to their desk at 12pm (when everyone downs tools for a 30-minute lunchbreak). Takeaway food and beer is often provided on Friday afternoons and there are big staff parties put on in the middle of the year and at Christmas. Some grads get a company car.
This is what the company tells all its staff: “Redox is a meritocracy. Deliver results and gain progression, recognition and reward.”
Given that the company has enjoyed double-digit growth for over half a century, there’s no shortage of opportunities. Plus, it’s the kind of place where even the most junior member of staff “can pick up the phone and speak to a director anytime”. Or “suggest a breakthrough idea to management and have it implemented quickly”. So, if you are kicking goals, you can expect to be put on the fast track.
The vibe of the place
Managers up to the highest level are approachable and you should find your colleagues supportive. The culture can vary depending on location and department. But, in general, Redox has maintained its family business dynamic (Roland Coneliano’s children and grandchildren have important roles throughout the business) despite its growing global footprint.
That means that while you’ll miss out on some of the perks of working for a big corporation, you’ll also be spared the ruthless politicking, rigid hierarchies and pointless bureaucracy.
Star Rating: 3.5 stars
Fom the Employer:
"We’re amongst the largest chemical and ingredient distributors in the world and yet at Redox you’re part of the family.
We scour the world and bring only the best quality materials to customers throughout Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and the United States of America. Last financial year sales exceeded AUD533.9m. We are always looking for talented people to join our team and help us reach our goals.
Agility comes easily to us, you can suggest a breakthrough idea to management and have it implemented quickly. We’re down to earth and approachable, you can pick up the phone and speak to a Director anytime. Our stable, private, family ownership means that we look at the long term picture allowing the company to invest confidently in stock, staff and infrastructure for future growth.
Through our amazing partnerships, motivated team, world-class systems and aggressive approach Redox has consistently recorded double digit growth for more than 50 years, if you join us you join the winning team!
Redox has one of the largest intakes of science and other tertiary graduates in the industry, helping you employ your knowledge and develop your commercial nous. We set you up with a mentor and provide one-on-one training and guidance with different streams of progression throughout the business available to everyone.
Redox is a meritocracy. Deliver results and gain progression, recognition and reward."