10 Questions with Redesign Group's Jo Pennycuick

Jo Pennycuick is the Founder of Redesign Group. She will be a panelist at the PwC Herald Talks - Global vs. Local, in Wellington on July 3 at St James Theatre, and in Auckland on July 5 at Skycity Theatre.

1. In a nutshell, what does Redesign do?                  

Redesign group is a multidisciplinary design practice that is focused on the airport, commercial hospitality and retail sectors. We have offices located in Christchurch, Ho Chi Minh city, Delhi - India and representative offices in Dubai and Riyadh - Saudi Arabia.

2. What are you most of proud of in your career?

There have been many proud moments, however I think the main points are having the ability to mentor my staff into great designers, giving them opportunities to work on high profile projects globally, set up offices in growth areas and work on projects in airports and high streets around the globe. 

3. What is your favourite thing about New Zealand business people?

New Zealand business people are very humble, genuine, we do what we say we will do, approachable and very easy to deal with. Many people that I deal with offshore truly value these attributes and like working with us due to these. 

4. Who is your business role model and why?

There are two role models and both are family. My grandfather was an entrepreneur who came out from England in the 50's and set up a commercial furniture company. He was an astute businessman and many people respected him. He was not alive to see what my company has achieved, however his business ethics and dealings have somewhat been carried through the blood as such. My father is also a very good businessman and I often sit with him to discuss new ventures and business matters. He asks the questions so that I can then make my own mind up on the outcome and solution.  

5. What is your top tip to anyone looking to create a start-up company?

Make sure that you have done all the necessary research and background work in your field before you set up. Think about your strategy for business development; do you have an existing clientele with a secured revenue projection. I only set up offices or place people in regions if I know there is a certain amount of work projected for at least 6 months, then you can develop new business whilst you are there. 

6. What was your career path to where you are now?

I studied at Christchurch polytechnic and then worked in Auckland for 3 years. I came back to Christchurch to set up a consultancy as I was having my first child and could not work full Time. The work then developed to a level where I employed my first designer and I grew from there onwards. The growth overseas started in 2006 and progressively, due to the work opportunities, I set up offices to again accommodate and service the work in the territory.

7. Your job takes you all over the world; where has been your favourite place to visit?

I enjoy every part of the world that I work in. My work is very intense and pressured so I have little down time. I plan a full itinerary which makes full use of my time away. In saying this, I do see wonderful parts of the world. India has so much vibrance and culture. Dubai is incredible with the architecture and development. Vietnam has natural beauty and is authentic yet is one of the developing countries. I enjoy all three however it is always good after a long trip to get home to New Zealand. 

8. What are you most looking forward to at PwC Herald Talks –Global vs Local?

The topic is very suited to what I often talk about in conferences; sharing my experiences with trade offshore and how being in market has benefitted our company and our clients’ businesses. If what I share can be of assistance to other business owners to take a step to grow, then I am pleased. 

9. If you could give your twenty-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Never turn down opportunities. When opportunities come your way always accept these and find a way to make things happen. Strive for greatness and always aim high in whatever you do. Always provide the best service and the rewards will always come, be it career satisfaction or monetary rewards.

10. Do you have a motto that you stick to when it comes to how you do business?

Always do what you say you do. Be proactive and not reactive. This can be achieved by communication and good service to your clients. 


To view the full list of panelists and purchase tickets for the PwC Herald Talks - Global vs. Local series in Auckland and Wellintgon, please visit the website

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