"One of the most important things I’ve learnt over the years, is to believe in yourself, ask questions and follow your gut. An enquiring mind, passion, intuition & strong work ethic have brought The Network Group to where we are today".
Keran Wicks is proof that hard work and determination are the pre-requisites for success, going against all pre-determined notions of “traditional” business leaders.
Founder and CEO of The Network Group, Keran Wicks is a leader in Australia’s home entertainment industry, recognized by both the broader business community and her peers.
After leaving school and home at just 13, she pumped gas at a petrol station before finding work in Melbourne’s fashion industry; it wasn’t long before Keran advanced from a junior position to management.
At 23, she was sacked by her employer for becoming pregnant. Keran became a test case for new unfair dismissal laws. The claim was subsequently settled out-of-court.
Keran began working part time in a video library and identified an opportunity selling second hand movies, starting a wholesale business from her car boot. As that business thrived, Keran opened her own warehouse and soon took over her own rental store, Little Monster Video, named after her eldest son, Paul. Her innovative retail and marketing strategies saw the store’s turnover increase tenfold within 24 months.
As Little Monster broke records, Keran was paying more for product due only to her refusal to join a video franchise. So, she started her own rental group.
In 1993, Network Video was born - a rental group founded with the ethos of independence. Network became the leading player in the rental industry, whilst holding onto the principles and philosophies that engineered its success.
Keran’s forward-thinking attitude, unique perspective and strong work ethic have all contributed to Network Video Home Entertainment's strong stamp on the industry. As well as her respected stature in the Australian business industry, having served as the only female board member of the Australian Video Rental Retailers Association (AVRRA) for over 15 years.
Keran’s entrepreneurial nature led to on going evolution of the business and The Network Group was formed, growing beyond just the rental business. Since its inception, The Network Group now includes:
Network Video - The largest rental group in Australia
Moviesearch - One of the largest wholesale suppliers to the rental business
Done Dirt Cheap DVD - Network's on line retail site. My Video Store - An on line information resource for all movie supply rental & retail business
The Underground Fitness Club - an inner city fitness training studio
Space 338 - one of Melbourne’s hottest event spaces
Business Innovations - a full service business providing mentoring and tools to small businesses
boutique holiday rentals
a thriving property portfolio
Only rental group in the world run by a woman.
Globally the most successful non-franchise rental group.
Dominant: in 1993 there were 38 rental groups in the industry; now just four, Network the largest.
Network scooped the lion’s share of industry awards.
Three National Marketing Awards.
Multiple Rental Group of the Year awards.
BRW’s Top 50 Most Innovative Companies - 2013.
Only female leader in a male-dominated industry.
A champion for the wider industry, having leadership roles in AVRRA, the industry’s peak body.
Successfully led court actions against Warner Bros. and Foxtel
Awarded the prestigious ADVIA (Australian DVD and Video Industry Awards) Keith Williams Award by her peers for services to the industry.
A globally sought after speaker at industry summits, conferences and in the wider business community.
A dedicated mentor, guiding over 1,000 businesses as well as Network people.
As the mother of two sons, both of whom have battled mental illness and drug addiction, Keran’s an advocate for improving the mental health and rehabilitation systems.
A dedicated philanthropist, Keran focuses on those most in need, where an immediate contribution can bring change or relief. Included are:
Network’s charity, Cans4Films, has delivered over 150 tonnes of food directly to families in need.
Network delivered over 10 semi-trailers of necessary goods and donations to those affected by the Black Saturday bushfires.
Keran lives in Melbourne with her white German Shepherd, Honey and Rottweiler, Ralphie. In her spare time (those rare occasions!) she enjoys watching movies (of course), kickboxing, training, following the Chelsea Football Club and is a self-proclaimed car enthusiast.