Growing up on the land in South Australia, Grant McShane knows a lot about hard work and getting your hands dirty. At 17, he got his first job as a livestock agent and worked continuously in the rural industry for all of his career. In 2001, he was instrumental in founding the National Rural Independents and has been group CEO ever since.

At 65 years of age, Grant isn’'t slowing down any time soon. The CEO Magazine sat down with him to talk about his vision for the rural industry in Australia.

The CEO Magazine: How did National Rural Independents Limited come to exist, and what was the reason it was set up?

Grant: At the turn of the twenty-first century, the independent sector of Australia'’s rural merchandising market was fragmented and floundering, in desperate need of a new direction to restore confidence and profitability. Rural independents, who were mostly single-store resellers, had virtually no brand recognition of their own. Their trading terms were dictated by rural wholesalers, and they were never going to create any serious wealth for themselves.