26 Winston Wijeyeratne and Selvam Sinnappan

Sleeping Duck
28 and 29

Former engineering students Winston Wijeyeratne and Selvam Sinnappan created their online mattress retailer Sleeping Duck in 2014 after meeting in an ANZ graduate program.

In two years, the duo have grown Sleeping Duck to a team of about 20 who work out of offices in Melbourne and London as they ramp up efforts for international expansion.

“Over the last year I am proudest of our successful expansion into the UK,” says Wijeyeratne.

“Doing this early has created a platform for us to expand rapidly into other European markets as well.”

As Sleeping Duck tests its retail presence in Melbourne and Sydney, the business is also selling into the UK and mainland Europe, with future plans to localise their brand in countries like Germany and France.

Sleeping Duck is now growing at more than 100%, they report.

As the founders experience fast growth and new staff needs, Sinnappan says they are very conscious of the culture within the business.

“We haven’t rushed the [hiring] process, even though it’s meant we sometimes had to persevere with gaps for longer than we wanted,” he says.

“By doing this, we’ve created and fostered a strong culture, which has helped us scale without compromising on the things that made us successful when we started – the customer experience in particular.”

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