February 2024

BGS NZ Member Spotlight: Illuminating the Journey of Tony Falkenstein (ONZM) - A Beacon of Entrepreneurial Excellence

Welcome to this week's Beta Gamma Sigma NZ Member Spotlight, where we shine a light on the journeys, passions, and achievements of our distinguished members.

Our community is a mosaic of extraordinary individuals, each contributing unique perspectives and experiences that enrich us all. Through these spotlights, our goal is to celebrate the diversity of our members and provide inspiration for both current and prospective members. Today, we are honoured to feature Tony Falkenstein (ONZM), an entrepreneur whose innovative vision and steadfast dedication have significantly shaped New Zealand's business landscape. Join us as we explore the insights, milestones, and wisdom of Tony, whose remarkable journey exemplifies the excellence and leadership that Beta Gamma Sigma stands for. Let's dive into this enlightening Q&A session to learn more about Tony's inspiring path and contributions to our community.


Q. Where do you work, and what is your current job title?

A. CEO of Just Life Group – I founded the company in 1987 and listed it on theNZX in 2004. The business has 2 segments – Healthy Living, which incorporatesthe Just Water, About Health, and Herbal Ignite brands, and Healthy Homes,which incorporates the Hometech, Solatube, and The Cylinder Guy brands.

Q. What led you to choose your career and/or industry?

A. I saw an opportunity to rent fax machines, which was unappealing to otheroffice products companies who saw the need for a double visit to get creditchecks in a high-growth market. We followed what Xerox originally did withphotocopiers, i.e., to rent the machine only and, if the customer defaulted, torent it to another customer. No real passion about product, except you normallycan’t go wrong taking a niche in a high-growth market. From there, we lookedfor other products we could rent to businesses and saw water coolers on a USsitcom at a time when jogging had become trendy, the food pyramid was beingtalked about, and the link between smoking and lung cancer had emerged – theentrepreneur in me saw that as a sign that personal health was going to becomea trend.

Q. What is a professional and/or career highlight you're proud of?

A. I was certainly proud of being awarded the Order of Merit and being inductedinto the NZ Business Hall of Fame, but probably am most proud of becoming aWorld-Class New Zealander for Creativity in Business. Obviously, being the veryfirst New Zealander to become a Beta Gamma Sigma member is on my highlightlist, as is the University of Auckland naming me as a Distinguished Alumnus.

Q. What is one skill you think is important to learn or improve today?

A. Brains or creativity – creativity would win every day, yet our educationsystem rewards brains, which is why it is flawed. Inherently, we are verycreative, but from the age of 5 onwards, you only succeed by giving one answer– the right one.

Q. What is a key lesson you've learned in your career?

A. Focus – every day there are opportunities, but focus on one and get thatperfected before taking on others.

Q. Is there any book, podcast, or resource that has really impacted your worklife?

A. I suppose the one I quote for start-ups is Gerber’s ‘The E-Myth,’ whichseparates the skill from the job function. I also enjoy several Ries and Troutbooks on Positioning.

Q. What do you like to do when you're not working and why?

A. I love being in business; it is like Monopoly with a ‘people’ variable. Ialso play a lot of tennis and have been doing Pilates for the last 25 years.


The story of Tony Falkenstein (ONZM) is a beacon of entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and focus. His journey is a powerful reminder of the impact one individual can have through vision and persistence. As we celebrate Tony's achievements and insights, we are reminded of the collective strength and diversity within the Beta Gamma Sigma NZ community.

We encourage you to share your own experiences, challenges, and successes with our community. Your story can serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement to others, promoting a culture of mutual support and excellence. If you are interested in being featured in our next Member Spotlight or know someone whose story deserves to be told, please reach out to us. Together, let's continue to build a community that celebrates achievement, fosters growth, and inspires leadership.

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