We return to speak to Alex Mednis of revolutioniseSPORT.
I interviewed Teresa and yourself in August 2017. What’s changed since we last spoke?
Alex Mednis: “I think the biggest change from my perspective is that we had around four employees and now our team has grown to 14!
“In 18 months we have tripled our staff and it would be a similar growth trajectory with clients. Looking back at 2017, we serviced 50 to 60 or so governing bodies in Australia, and now we service over 180.”
Why do you think you have trebled in clients and internal staff?
AM: “I believe the reason is two-fold: firstly the industry has evolved to have a greater reliance on and greater uptake of technology. In 2017 it was harder to get that breakthrough. Secondly, it is due to the product we have – our team has worked really hard to push at 120 per cent to make something that people want to use. I think we have done a phenomenal job as a team actually offering something people want at reasonable cost that can be deployed in a reasonable timeframe.”
How has the platform changed and evolved as your client base grew?
AM: “At the time we had a good, solid product, but you always look back and realise we’ve since added thousands of refinements in that timeframe. Refinements are so important – it takes a good product to a great product.
“The biggest change would be the growth of our business intelligence tools for governing bodies. Stage one for us was clients moving from paper to an online database. Stage two, which has been coming for nearly two years now, is empowering sports to use all of their data in the platform to aggregate, gain insights into, and commercialise some of that information. We have developed our business intelligence tools to allow our clients to commercialise their own data because it is theirs to control and their biggest asset today, and going into the 2020s.”
That’s an interesting answer because in 2017 I asked about your growth opportunities and you said ‘we’re in the first phase in sport, and we can see our second and third phase of supporting our existing clients even further.’ You stuck to that.
AM: “I have a tendency when we travel with our staff, that if we have a particularly long day and everyone is a bit zonked out – to start drawing diagrams of what the future of the company looks like. The strategy we’re executing is essentially unchanged. It’s adapted and shifted slightly, but the core of what we’re doing as a business is absolutely being executed. I’m glad you brought that quote up because it reinforces that we are internally consistent.”
It’s nice to have that outside recognition that you’re sticking to the strategy. You might have said it just a little off the cuff, but the seeds were planted.
How are you going with client expansion outside of Australia? You did say that the Asia-Pacific region was interesting. How is the internationalisation of the business going?
AM: “The Asia-Pacific market has definitely been one that is very attractive to us. In both New Zealand and Singapore, in our last interview, we had a small amount of interest there, and now it’s continuing to grow. Now we have governing bodies in both of those countries, including New Zealand Water Polo and Singapore Gymnastics, amongst a handful of others. We’ve even got governing bodies outside the Asia-Pacific region in South Africa.
“What’s interesting about APAC is predominantly sport is played very similarly in each country; they have similar governance structures. But there are minor differences and cultural differences – Singapore has a lot of high-rises and not as much open land as Australia, so sport is played a little bit differently in terms of the venues.
“We’re finding more inroads there and we’ve started to become a strong market player alongside other competitors in that space as well.”
In the spirit of not looking back, what’s the next 12 months looking like? And let’s see if you keep executing your company’s plan!
AM: “Let’s give the obligatory answer that we’ll be moving to our third phase as revolutioniseSPORT.
“RevolutioniseSPORT is a great, stable platform. It’s used for sports and we’ll aim to continue to grow that – so the goal is to continue to help grow the governing bodies we service.
“To our clients, we’ve now started to say, ‘You’ve trusted us to do your membership database – and now we hope you’ll trust us again with something new! We want to do novel things in a related, but, different, part of the industry, that can continue to ‘revolutionise’ your organisation’.
“The goal for the next 12 months is to launch more of these companion business arms. We might have a client that will use all of them, or clients who will only use our technology, or use a different piece of technology but use our consultancy services. Sports can engage with us irrespective of whether or not they use ‘revolutioniseSPORT’ for their CRM.
“Essentially, the goal is to offer more services to sports longitudinally with the objective that every service we offer must make a tangible and real difference.”