Between leaving school at 13 and founding Australia’s largest independent video chain marketing and buying group at 33, the rise of Keran Wicks would not have been complete without an abundance of vision and determination. Keran’s inspiring story includes the David vs Goliath battles and balancing a serious career with single parenthood and a child with mental illness.
Keran is the founder and Managing Director of Network Video, one of the leading players in Australia's $1 billion DVD rental / retail industry with over 400 stores in her group.
Not bad for a girl who left school at 13 because in her own words she "just sucked at it". Never a dawdler, she immediately began pumping petrol while planning her business empire.
At 15, Keran lied about her age to get a job as a salesgirl at the swanky women's boutique The Inn Shoppe. Six months later she was made manager of Garfunkle's in Moonee Ponds, Victoria and soon after started doing the buying and helping with designs. By age 18 was running all of their four stores. Keran went on to open no less than six new stores for them while DJ-ing at Melbourne clubs and modeling in her spare time.
At 24, Keran gave birth to her first son Paul. The next year she started Moviesearch, her first business wholesaling movies to video stores from the back of her car. By 27 she had her own warehouse.
Second son Chris came along when Keran was aged 31. The next year there was another addition to the family - her first video store. 'Little Monster Video' was named for her energetic son. Meanwhile the wholesale business continued to grow.
Keran founded Network Video aged 33, making her the only woman to head any video rental group, franchise or independent, in the world.
As head of Australia's largest independent marketing and buying group Keran travels constantly, speaking to groups of retailers and studio heads, ranging from 10 to 500 at a time. In 2001, she was the only Australian and the only woman to present at a major international conference put on by 20th Century Fox in the US. Keran showcased her award-winning 'Videology' marketing campaign.
Keran has been an active member of the Australian Video Rental Retailers Association (AVRRA) board since 1998. She was a key driver in the successful case brought against Warner Bros in the Australian Federal Court in 2001. More recently Keran helped take the fight up to Foxtel.