NAME: Tony Antonious
COMPANY: Polivac International
POSITION: Owner & Managing Director
LOCATION: Melbourne, Australia
First and foremost, Tony Antonious wants to win. He applies his competitive spirit to life as well as to his business, as owner and Managing Director of Polivac International. “I don’t like to come second. I love to be number one,” he says. “I can’t lose in any game, in any sport. I like to win.”
And it pays off. Polivac International is Australia’s leading manufacturer of commercial cleaning equipment and major exporter of advanced cleaning technologies worldwide.
The company’s history started more than 70 years ago, when a company called Bourne floor treatment started manufacturing floor polishers and cleaning chemicals in the 1940s. This organisation was bought by Reckitt & Colman industrial division in the 1970s, which was later bought by Vinco, owned by Vincent Bros. This was when the world’s first suction polisher – the PV25 – was invented by Frank Comac. Eventually, the company was acquired by Robert Stone and he named it Polivac Australia.
It was later bought and renamed as Centre Clean by Richard Gasket and Dick Heralds. Finally, Tony Antonious bought it as Polivac in September 1990 from liquidator Brian Silvia, a partner at Ferrier Hodgson.
“When we bought the company, there were already large branches in every major Australian city,” he recalls. “They weren’t managing it well. My challenge was to cut overheads and start to survive.”
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