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2015 Telstra Business Awards winners announced

Furst Electrical Services that specialise in designing, fabricating and installing electrical control systems and automation exclusively for the manufacturing and secondary processing industries and co-owned by siblings, Mark and Lee Furst has won the 2015 “Business of the Year” for Victoria.

Last year capped off some major successes for Furst Electrical, including a $1.6M contract to design, manufacture and install an electrical control system for multinational group, Accensi, at their new crop protection manufacturing facility near Geelong, and implementing the automation for “Catch of the Day’s” warehousing and distribution facility. The Accensi project involved highly complex hazardous and explosive atmosphere zoning.

The self-funded start-up combines the siblings contrasting but complementary skills. Mark Furst is an industrial electrician with specialist expertise in process control and automation, while sister Lee, with an MBA, has substantial financial and business management experience. 

Said Lee Furst: “We come from a small business family and have always aspired to work for ourselves. We both felt limited in previous roles and had a strong ambition to build a business from scratch.”

With an office in St Kilda and a workshop in Boronia, Furst has won customers in Victoria and beyond, in mining and manufacturing, airfields, agricultural and hazardous areas.

Key standouts for the Telstra judges was the company’s commitment to competitive Australian manufacturing, the application of innovative business practices such as the use of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for the remote control of a plant and equipment, the distinctive skill set mix of the owners, the fact that it is very much a family operation that also employs the siblings’ 59 year old father as an apprentice and the company’s deep expertise in industrial electrical automation – which is not formally taught anywhere in Australia.

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