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Redback Conferencing

Jeff Downs
Jeff Downs

Peter Matsumoto
Peter Matsumoto
Smart50 rank: 18
Revenue: $2,621,067
Growth: 96.52%
Founders: Jeff Downs, 54, Peter Matsumoto, 36
Head Office: New South Wales
Employees: 21
Industry: Telecommunications

Jeff Downs moved to Australia in 2007 without knowing a single person.

But in five years, he’s built his internet services company Redback Conferencing to be a $2.6 million success story, with large clients including Fairfax Media, APN and the Tax Institute.

But coming from Canada without knowing anyone was Downs’ biggest challenge.

“Learning how to conduct business in Australia, how to source suppliers, how to hire employees, how to deal with institutions like the banks and the Government were all very challenging. There is not a day that goes by where we do not learn something new.”

“While doing business in Australia is not for the faint-hearted, when you get it right, it is extremely rewarding.”

Redback Conferencing offers video conferencing and VoIP services to businesses. It was a slow start, after the company suffered a setback with some capital and it didn’t have enough to reach initial expenses.

But after seeking additional funding from investors, the company has now become profitable.

One of the more fascinating aspects of Redback is found in its management – it maintains a flat structure. New ideas can come from anyone.

“An example of this is our Managed Webinar Program. Several years ago, one of our clients was consumed with worry about how to effectively deliver her first webinar.”

“She pleaded with us to take over the management of the entire process for her. She really only wanted to show up on the day and deliver her presentation. She wanted nothing at all to do with marketing the event, delivering the event or following up on it afterwards. We stepped in and ran the entire event for her.”

That event started a marketing program that has actually become the company’s strongest, Downs says. Each month Redback gives webinars on various topics that protray the company as an industry expert.

“This program easily generates close to 100 qualified new business leads every month and has greatly contributed to the growth of our community.”

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