13 Gillian Franklin


Heat Group


$130 million*

Gillian Franklin had a history of inspiring women to take charge of their financially independent, but she eventually realised she should practice what she preached.

A former managing director of cosmetics brand Revlon, Franklin left to pursue her own independent business ventures, founding the Heat Group in 2000. Franklin said she was inspired to to go her own way by the programs she developed at Revlon that encouraged financially independent young women. Plans for The Heat Group were established by Franklin while in a coffee shop in the year 2000.

Since starting the Heat Group in 2000, Franklin has grown the business to earn revenue of $130 million in 2017.

The personal care retailer distributes cosmetic brands like Max Factor and CoverGirl. Global brand Proctor & Gamble was Heat Group’s first client, signing on three weeks after the company launched.

In 2015, Franklin told SmartCompany a Heat product is sold every 2.8 seconds on average, and there are no signs of the business slowing down. In November 2016, the business bought personal care distributor Doward International for an undisclosed sum.