As a young man of 25, Robert Laidlaw launched a small mail-order business. With daring courage he overcame world wars, economic depression and tragic loss to build the largest retail chain in New Zealand. Laidlaw's success with the Farmers Trading Company made him one of the most innovative and successful businessmen in the history of New Zealand.
His approach to business was firmly rooted in his strong Christian faith. He established a generous staff welfare fund and gave extravagantly to charities and Christian organisations.
Around the world, he is best known for the booklet THE REASON WHY. He first published this to explain his faith to his employees but it was quickly found to have a much wider application.
The Reason Why has been translated into over 30 languages and it was been estimated that over 50 millions copies of the booklet have been printed.