A WORD FROM THE FOUNDER CEO & CO-FOUNDER OF GPNI® DREW JOHN CAMPBELL STORY & BACKGROUND
I have been in the sports nutrition industry for now over 22years. I began my career in the fitness and sports nutrition industry in the year 2000 in Melbourne Australia working for the General Nutrition Centre (GNC), the world’s largest supplement store brand. My role at GNC was original “Sports Nutrition Expert”, helping advise customers in the retail chain on sports nutrition supplements and diet.
Fast forward more than 20years years, my overall aim and goal have not changed at all since those humble beginnings working on the retail floor of GNC serving customers. My goals have not changed, though my role has. My role now with the Global Performance Nutrition Institute (GPNi®), together with working with the global experts, is to help educate thousands globally to transform the lives of their clients, and themselves!
At GPNi® we strive not just to educate with knowledge aspiring sports nutrition experts, but also to aid our students in growing their careers with our unique network and connections globally! Careers are built and grown from hard work, new skills, and knowledge; but also, often who you know, not just what you know!
Whilst working for GNC, in the year 2003 I was awarded “Pro Performer” of the year Australia-wide. Pro Performer of the year was a GNC term, that basically meant salesman and customer service performance. At the time Australia had 45 retail locations in NSW, Victoria, and Queensland, therefore going into the thousands of employees nationwide. My base salary tripled in two years working for GNC. Even working in retail, which is traditionally a low-paid position, I was earning at the time more than double the average salary.
Back in the years 2000-2002 there was very little internet access like there is today, so it was through books and working with mentors that knew more than myself. Self-study on sports nutrition was the key reason I won this GNC award back in 2003 and was rapidly promoted within the company into management, including the large pay rises. I didn’t study nutrition or fitness at university like many of my colleagues at GNC, I studied and qualified in Public Relations & Marketing, therefore had to educate myself to grow in this new career I chose.
In 2004 I joined a company called BioNatural in the role of Public Relations & Marketing Director. It was a small company specializing in natural alternative health, lifestyle, and sports nutrition. My role in this company helped me understand the importance of online activities and communication of nutrition to a large diverse group online.
In 2005 I moved to China to pursue entrepreneurial aspirations I have been carrying with me for a very long time. I love my home country Australia, however, I felt it offered very limited opportunities in the sports nutrition space, so I wanted to look outside of China for new potential ventures.
At the time I moved to China in 2005, I thought it was “very late” in seeking opportunities, however, it was very early. The fitness space, especially sports nutrition had not really started at all. It was truly the wild-wild east back in 2005. There was little to no regulation in space and many backward ways things worked. The only buyers of sports nutrition at the time also were foreigners living in China, returnee Chinese that studied overseas to return to China, and a small handful of local bodybuilders.
There was no fitness culture, and largely most local Chinese viewed people with muscle or looking fit were “coaches” – which translated locally to mean “low income” earners and very little education or self-worth. There was literally zero understanding of nutrition whatsoever from a Western perspective, and excessive protein consumption itself was seen as unhealthy by most. Fast forward to 2022 the local industry has exploded, and those reflecting health, fitness, and muscle are shown to be wealthy, idolized, and successful.
In 2007 I founded the very first multi-chain health food store in Mainland China called World Health Store, or most knew us to be WHS. We specialized in sports supplements and created diets for clients, to optimize their results in fitness, health, and fat loss.
At WHS maturity including full independent retail locations and store-in-store locations, we had 8 locations in Beijing also Shanghai and were doing millions in revenue annually. We were the very first supplement retail store in all of China back then and still to this day nobody has been able to do what we did! Why were the first and only you may ask?! Because it was simply that DIFFICULT – but that is a story for another day!
My days of working in GNC 7years prior allowed me to train others to do my role. Customer service and diet plans were a big part of the retail experience coming to our WHS stores or purchasing online. We spent a great deal of time training our retail staff, and also held seminars for the public on sports nutrition diets and strategies to educate the public. We eventually sold this retail business in 2017, before founding The Global Performance Nutrition Institute (GPNi®) in early 2018.
When putting together the framework of what GPNi® stood for and wanted to be different compared to all other nutrition and sports nutrition education online globally, it was my decades of experience prior that forged what we have today. Many online educations either come from an academic-only background or other backgrounds but lack the understanding of what really matters.
Academia, regulation, and ensuring your course and certification is the most up-to-date, accurate sports nutrition science content is the foundation. Without this, there is nothing else that matters, which surprisingly many sports nutrition certifications globally do not have. We chose in 2018 to partner with the world’s experts in sports nutrition, the prestige’s International Society of Sports Nutrition, the ISSN. We also work with some of the greatest minds in sports nutrition in creating all our course content. Multiple global experts all our courses, updating and checking, and all based on the most up-to-date authentic sports nutrition research from the ISSN.
Once you have the foundation in place, the other component that everyone in the world is looking for is to stand out amongst their peers. In today’s competitive world you need to find your “edge”, a way to stand out and grow yourself and your career. Education can be an important component, but you also need the edge. The “edge” we offer students globally is being able to access the world’s very best and most up-to-date sports nutrition global research, also experts but with it also being available locally.
A native level of English language is only spoken now globally by less than 5% of the world. It is impossible to have a truly international business if you are in the English language alone. GPNi® as of 2022 is now in English, Japanese Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, and Korean. We will be looking at expanding this offering and languages with our exclusive region partners also shortly. Offering the world’s top-level sports nutrition education and international ISSN certifications, together with fully localized access allow for no barriers of borders to learning.
Another key aspect of difference offers at GPNi® that is nonexistent in other education sports nutrition programs is the ability to network and grow your career. This is key and makes all the difference in the world if you are looking at finding your “edge” and upgrading yourself. Knowledge alone is a strong foundation, but a foundation without growth does necessarily deliver a return on your education investment.
At GPNi® we focus on a 360° approach to education and qualifications. With a “real-life” classroom experience online, together with our online private member’s groups, learn more and grow more. If standing out and finding your “edge” within the fitness industry, or just upgrading yourself as you love to be healthy and fit – GPNi® focus on providing this edge from the global elite level but is also available locally to ensure full accessibility without barriers.
We partner with the very best minds in sports nutrition science, the elite experts in sports nutrition, namely the ISSN and the experts within ISSN.
GPNi® is the fasters growing & leading global online education portal in performance nutrition and the official partner for the International Society Of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), the pioneers in sports nutrition research since 2003.
GPNi® gives you 360° access to our unique and exclusive online real-life classroom experience. Upgrade your knowledge, qualifications, network, and connections globally to take your career in sports nutrition to the next level with the GPNi®.