The Heat Group
Gillian Franklin is recognised as one of Australia’s most innovative marketers with a passion and commitment to supporting women in business. She is Managing Director of her own company – The Heat Group Pty Ltd – one of Australia’s leading personal care companies and is an accomplished Company Director.
During the 16 years that The Heat Group has been in operation, Gillian has grown the company from five employees working out of a coffee shop, to a robust, well resourced company of around 140 employees, complete with its own warehouse and distribution facility, currently distributing some of the world’s leading cosmetic brands. Heat is the exclusive Australian distributor for leading global brands Max Factor, COVERGIRL and essence. Heat also proudly owns cosmetic and personal care brands ulta3, MUD and Billie Goat as well as eyewear brands OZK.O, Boofhedz and Marine Optics. Heat is also developing a range of personal care products based on the much loved characters from Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
Under Gillian’s leadership, sales of Max Factor and COVERGIRL increased their sales in Australia to take both brands into the top 6 in the Australian cosmetic market. Other noteworthy successes are the Group’s own brands Ulta3 brand, now highest stock turning brand in pharmacy and MUD (Make Up Design) number 2 in volume in Woolworths where it is sold exclusively, both contributing to the Heat Group’s turnover of approximately $130 million retail sales.
Gillian has previously held Managing Director and General Management positions for some of Australia’s leading consumer companies, including Creative Brands (owners of Australis and Le Tan) and Revlon. Gillian was influential in shaping the lives of young women when she created and launched the Australis Self Made Girl workshops, designed to motivate and inspire young women to seek financial independence. Gillian continues to be passionate about supporting women and is a highly regarded and frequent speaker on women’s issues, often calling on The Heat Group database, a powerful and current research tool which regularly polls thousands of Australian women on key issues affecting their lives. In addition Gillian both personally and via the Heat Group supports Fitted for Work, Bridge Builders and the Look Good Feel Better Organisations. She is also the mentor for Kristina Karlsson from Kikki K and Renee Gracie, Australia’s No 1 female racing driver.
Gillian’s expertise and success was acknowledged when she was inducted into the Australian Business Women’s Hall of Fame in 1998 and when she won the Telstra Business Women’s Award Victoria in 1996. She was also awarded “Global Entrepreneur of the Year – Australia” at the Business Women’s Leaders Summit in Washington DC, in October 2000. Gillian was acknowledged as a 2011 Nominee for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Most recently, Gillian won the 2014 InStyle and Audi 'Women of Style' Award in May 2014. This award was for her significant contribution to the industry and active involvement in the community.
In addition to running her own business, Gillian is on the Board of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association of Australia (CTFA), ACCORD, the Australian Grand Prix (Deputy Chair) and MTC (Melbourne Theatre Company), publicly listed TFS, the largest supplier of Sandalwood in the world and a Member of the Victorian Visitor Economy Ministerial Advisory Committee. Gillian has formerly held Directorships on the Microsurgery Foundation, Neopec and CEDA (Committee for Economic Development of Australia) as well as Chaired the Prime Ministers Gold Medal Access Committee.
Gillian is a founding member of Chief Executive Women.