Smart50 Awards 2014

12 AlertForce

Revenue

Over $4.4 million

Growth

131.44%

Founders

Brendan Torazzi, 42

Head Office

New South Wales

Year Founded

2009

Employees

10

Industry

Education

Website

www.alertforce.com.au

Brendan Torazzi describes himself as a serial entrepreneur.

As a teenager, Torazzi started a business promoting bands and, while at university, he founded a translation agency that he operated for 10 years before selling it. After a few years travelling with his wife, he helped launch a fashion business in Sydney before trying his hand at bringing Metro sleep pods out to Australia.

The sleep pod idea didn’t take off, but it led Torazzi to the idea of creating a training course for truck drivers battling fatigue.

That was the beginning of AlertForce, now a registered training provider in work health and safety compliance courses for businesses.

While Torazzi told SmartCompany his business has been growing steadily since its beginning in 2009, it was between 2012 and 2014 that things really started to take off, with AlertForce growing at 186%.

“We’ve always looked for little niches in the market where the government says training is needed by a certain date,” says Torazzi.

“Last year that was in asbestos removal.”

In May 2013, Torazzi says a number of telco workers in Penrith made headlines for “doing the wrong thing” when it came to removing asbestos. The situation needed a training provider, and AlertForce was able to take advantage of the situation, eventually picking up most of Telstra’s training work in the area nationally.

The company’s winning streak has continued this year, beating out around 20 providers to become the only provider granted a licence to provide the mandatory training required for the rollout of the government’s National Broadband Network.

Torazzi attributes AlertForce’s success to its constant focus on innovation and staying ahead of the crowd, which he says is easier now that he has staff.

“I have more time to spend on the business than in the business,” he says.

“I can go away and the business still runs, it’s no longer tied to just me.”

And that’s a good thing, given Torazzi’s plans for the coming months.

AlertForce recently purchased the domain name ohs.com.au, which will be relaunched next week under the brand Australian Institute of OH&S.

The site, which will be powered by AlertForce, will specialise in offering qualifications as opposed to short compliance courses.

“It’s another example of thinking two steps ahead,” says Torazzi, who says AlertForce has also applied to the federal government to offer VET-fee loans.

“It’s all about innovating with new ideas and presenting them in different ways.”

“University is perceived to be becoming too expensive and I think people are falling back to vocational education, which is typically cheaper and shorter in time constraints, and recognised by businesses.”

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