Andrew Banks, Chairman, The Veneto Group

Andrew Banks, Chairman, The Veneto Group

We introduce you to Mr. Andrew R Banks, the chairman of the Veneto Group. In his early life he wanted to become a doctor, but he did not fit in that environment. Here is how his being misfit led him to be what he is today.



It is very important to follow your passion, but are you on the right path? Have you found a goal in your life yet? In this episode of ‘The Brand Called You’, we introduce you to Mr. Andrew R Banks, the chairman of the Veneto Group. In his early life he wanted to become a doctor, but he did not fit in that environment. Here is how his being misfit led him to be what he is today.


About Andrew R Banks 

Andrew shares with us some fascinating instances about how he got into the field he is currently working in. In his early life, he tells us that he was a bright student, especially good at science. So, his mother wanted him to be a doctor. He grew up and chose medicines as his subject, which he now calls a mistake in his life because he couldn’t stand the smell of blood. Later, he dropped out of the university. He feels he was intelligent but was a misfit. After this he shifted to Australia, as he says, “to find myself”. There he did various jobs like acting, working in a restaurant etc.


What about the World Wide Web tempted Andrew to adopt it.

As Andrew recalls his early days of recruitment, he tells us how he had to manage about a million resumés on papers. He had to invite recruitments for his clients through newspapers, for which he had to pay heavily, and other companies to do headhunting calls, for which he again had to pay. As WWW arrived, he found it to be a very cheap way to invite recruitments and started working through it.


Challenges Andrew faced in Managing Global Talent

Talking about the challenges he faced in managing global talent, Andrew mentions that it is very important to realize that there are huge cultural differences in every country. It is necessary to work in accordance with the culture of a country. Culture influences how you handle a particular situation in a particular area and approaches to recruitment.


How did Andrew manage to communicate to 40 different countries?

To answer the above mentioned question, Andrew categorizes the recruiters of the twentieth century into two categories: the misfits and the elitists. He says that the elitists were precise and efficient at their jobs and then there was Andrew who was a misfit. He calls being misfit to be a virtue as due to this behavior, he invited everybody who wanted to apply for the job and took them on face value instead of screening at the very start. This helped him much to grow in the long run.

How have the expectations of Human Resource Managers changed over time?

Discussing the changes recruitment industry has seen, Andrew talks about his theory of taking a person as SKA, which translates into; Skills you have, Knowledge you have on your resume and Attributes one has as a person. He tells us how a couple of decades back, recruiters used to ignore the attribute factor of the Person and were focused on skills and Knowledge, but, the time and the approach to look at the candidates has changed now. The recruiters equally consider the personality and temperament of the candidate as a requisite.


 What are the key metrics you look for before you decide on making an investment?

On being asked what metrics drive Andrew for an investment, he tells us that he looks at different aspects like whether the people of that organization aligned to his way of thinking or not, or how is the organization performing digitally, whether the business is scalable or not. He adds that he is quite interested in the businesses that make the world a better place. He also shares instances where he could not get an investment because he got a bit slow to judge them.


At what stage do you look for an exit Veneto Investments

When Ashutosh asked Andrew at what stage does he plan to exit in the context of Veneto, Andrew replies that he does not occupy himself with this plan much, but he definitely looks for either dividend income or return within three years, depending upon the business.

Edison Awards

Later in the conversation Andrew tells us about the Edison Awards of the Edison Universe. He mentions that Edison Universe is an NPO based in the United States. It encourages innovation all over the world. Andrew for himself calls it a window to know what is coming.

Learning from Shark Tank Australia

On telling us about his experience in Shark Tank Australia, he says some time back he moved to California to look at some investments, there they auditioned him and that is how he got involved in it. He did four seasons with them which went quite well.



While discussing how Andrew manages his interests, we get to know that he is a very organized person. He maintains his schedule in a diary and sticks to it. He tells us that he strongly believes success comes from what you say no to. He suggests success has different elements like; it finding your passion and making a living out of it, he is financially independent, he has a loving family and does not have any enemies, so, he considers himself successful. He adds, if you do what you love you are successful.

Advice for young entrepreneurs

He suggests young entrepreneurs to not get frustrated in their early journey and make every step a winner.


Commenced career as an Actor in England and Sydney with The Old Tote Theatre Co (adopted by NIDA) which inspired me to get involved in movie producing (Lila 9th/Banks Films). Core business activities which came from my corporate HR training have been involved with building and growing companies in the recruiting, training and HR outsourcing space. Co-founded Morgan & Banks in early 1985 growing the company to become the dominant recruitment force in Australia and Asia, with 17% market share! Company went public in 1995 and sales grew to over A$900m, before merging with TMP/ in 1999, a US listed NASDAQ company. Morgan & Banks was an early adopter of the www with the No 1 Australian job website in 1996 which led to the merger with Monster and contributed significantly to that company’s early format – the searching of resumes rather than a simple listing of jobs. After the merger, spent three years with TMP in New York as Global Director, participating in explosive growth and TMP’s market cap reaching $6 billion during which time I was responsible for more than 50 acquisitions and 4,500 staff operating in 32 countries. In 2004 launched Talent2 International focusing on HR outsourcing and executive search and selection. The company employed 1,600+ professionals in 20 countries. Sold equity in 2014 to The Allegis Group of Maryland, a $16 billion US staffing giant. Since 2015 and following 4 seasons of the Australian version of “Shark Tank”, my main focus is on general investing via major global banks and institutional fund managers.
Activities include working in film and TV production; being an active shareholder/advisor to a number of diverse businesses including consumer and health (Juvenescence), fin tech, supply chain, HR tech as well as education including the leading US online children’s learning platform, In 2016, joined Steering Committee of The Edison Awards which monitors the development and successful launch of innovative products each year!

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