Founders: Richard Fine, 42, Gary Smith, 43
Head Office: New South Wales
Industry: Wholesale trade
The global financial crisis has been a baptism of fire for many businesses on the Smart50, and BioPark is no exception. Just after the GFC hit, the company learned one of its key suppliers was unable to continue and it had to discontinue a large range of products that were nearly brand new.
The two pressures together nearly led to the company’s downfall. But founders Richard Fine and Gary Smith say they were able to survive by undergoing a marketing makeover.
“We found a new, less expensive, yet more environmentally friendly alternative range of products from another manufacturer and continued to market and promote the benefits of using our products.”
“We marketed our products as a cost-effective way for companies to differentiate themselves in a crowded market and to attract and retain customers.”
It worked. The company is turning over $11.1 million after just four years, with a team of 10. It offers design, development and supply of single-use foodservice disposable packaging.
There’s a large call for environmentally friendly packages in this area – which puts BioPak in a sweet spot.
“Our goal is to disrupt the packaging industry by making consumers aware of the environmental impact of single use disposable packaging while at the same time finding ways to reduce the environmental impact of our products.”
As a result, there’s plenty of room for marketing. The business has embarked on marketing campaigns to educate customers on the environmetal impact of their products – “both good and bad”. While some businesses would balk at such a campaign, the pair say it’s necessary.
“We are no longer saying our product is better than our competitors because it is compostable and made from plants not oil, we are lifting the veil on the entire production process and disclosing not only the good, but also the bad.”
There’s still a large gap in the market, the pair say, especially among businesses. That’s where they’ll be heading next.
“There is still a fairly large missing component that is preventing businesses and consumers who choose to use our products, from maximising the environmental benefit.”
“I would like to address the inefficiencies in the way we treat the planets resources and to constantly strive to be more sustainable.”