Companies on the Move

Feeling right at home with remote work?

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business >>

REMOTE work is now becoming the norm.

According to Chris McNamara, the chief revenue officer for the company named Remote, companies that embrace remote work have more diverse workforces.

Alternatively, companies that fail to embrace some form of remote work will have trouble recruiting talent. 

He believes remote work has become the new norm. 

“I think over the last couple of years we’ve experienced the shift to remote work and I think what started as a reaction to the pandemic has become almost an awakening to the benefits of working from home,” Mr McNamara told Talking Business.

“I think that’s not only true from the employee side but also on the employer’s side.”

Mr McNamara said there was a lot of research now showing that not only is employee satisfaction higher with remote work, but employees working remotely are actually more productive.

One Stanford University study found that employees working remotely demonstrated higher job satisfaction, 35 percent lower attrition and 11 percent higher productivity than their peers working for the same company, but doing it in the office.

Aware of ‘remote’ benefits

Mr McNamara said more people around the world were becoming more aware of these benefits and it was now quite possible for companies to put in the right infrastructure for remote work – which especially suited knowledge workers, who could work in any setting.

“Perhaps even more important than having the right tools is having the right culture,” Mr McNamara said.

“You need the right management to be in place because it’s not the same, from my experience, that working remotely is the same as working in an office.

“If a company and a management team expect those things to be exactly the same, I just don’t think that’s going to work out,” he said.

“You need to be thoughtful about: how are you going to co-ordinate activity when people are working remotely? How are you going to share knowledge when people are in different locations and not in the office? How do you build culture when it’s not about pizza and beers on Friday?

“It needs to be something way more intentional when people are located in different places around the country, potentially even different places around the world.”

Remote itself is ‘fully distributed’

Mr McNamara said his company, Remote, had 1000 employees and it operated in 70 different countries. The company does not have a head office. It is a fully distributed team.

He said more and more employers were adopting distributed work models because they were finding it harder now to source the talent.

Mr McNamara said this now required a different approach to management and perhaps a greater level of trust than what some managers would be accustomed to.

“We work with customers who are opening up jobs outside their home country,” he said.

“So an Australian company decides to open up jobs in the Asia-Pacific region. We’re finding that for certain types roles, those companies are able to hire 50 percent more quickly because they are no longer competing for people in exactly the same locations.”

Mr McNamara said remote work “was here to stay” because employee interest in flexibility was “going nowhere but up”.

“Companies that preclude flexibility for their employees will find themselves on the wrong side of the decision when employees are choosing where they’re going to work.”


Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at



The Dom curates and informs customers about brands – and why it chooses them

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business >>

SHOPPERS looking for discounts on their clothing are sick of dealing with the cluttered look.

Justin Seskin, the CEO and co-founder of online store The Dom, said the aim of the company is to ‘get rid of the cluttered look’.

Instead, it’s offering more than 250 brands for an aspirational market that is looking for high-end discounts on 250-plus clothing brands including Adidas and Lee Matthews.

“Being in fashion and retail for a long time, I just saw an opportunity for more elevated and more premium outlets, particularly one online and one that really understands the needs of the brands, the sellers, and the product we are selling, and also the customer,” Mr Sekin told Talking Business.

“The customer is always looking for a discount and a big part of sales aren’t made at a discounted rate and there are discounted propositions online, whether it’s Catch or eBay, or some of the bricks and mortar offerings, but our opinion is a lot of them are cluttered down markets.

“That’s not the experience that customer or the brand wants. That’s why we came into The Dom and there certainly is a movement globally for more elevated discount propositions. There is a big movement to the more aspirational premium outlet proposition which we believe The Dom is fulfilling in Australia,” he said.

“Our goal is to be that fashion and lifestyle destination.”

Cluttered outlets seem ‘cheap’ and downmarket

The problem with having an outlet that is too cluttered, he said, was that it gave the perception that it was selling cheap downmarket products. 

“In many instances it’s not, it’s just the environment you find them in,” Mr Seskin said.

“When you go into an outlet and you find tens of products stacked on a rack or as many as you can fit on a shelf, that’s what creates that perception of that product being old or that product being not aspirational – but that’s absolutely what we are trying to change.

“We are trying to educate the customer that the outlet is a place where you can find good fashion products.”

‘Editorial’ approach to presentation

Mr Seskin said The Dom was handpicking the brands it wanted to present for customers. The brands are not presented as being on sale in a final clearance.

There is a lot of content on site and communication with customers, whether it’s by email or social media, informing them what brands they should be buying.

“The editorial component is key,” Mr Seskin said. “So it’s not throwing all the products we can find at the customer. We merchandise. How can we provide the customer with the product that’s relevant to them, whether that’s through typical search and merch or and editorial lens that gives the customer some guidance to what they should be buying,” he said.

All the brands on The Dom are placed in precincts, similar to what you find in any shopping centre.

“We are creating that concept online which does help us talk to the customer in a language familiar to them,” Mr Seskin said.

“So without knowing who the customer is, if they find their way to the designer precinct, we roughly know what language we should be talking to them.”


Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at


Jessica Booth becomes’s first chief operations officer 

BIZA.IO, the Brisbane-based tech startup – already a market leader in consumer data right (CDR) solutions – has promoted Jessica Booth to the newly-created role of chief operations officer (COO).

Ms Booth will focus on driving operational efficiencies and fostering cross-team collaboration, playing a critical role in supporting’s growth trajectory, according to founder and CEO, Stuart Low.

Ms Booth joined as head of customer success in September 2023, “quickly making her mark as a strong leader with a wealth of knowledge in building and maintaining highly successful customer relationships,” Mr Low said.

Prior to joining, Ms Booth was head of customer success at cloud enterprise software company Mastt, and held key leadership roles at AlayaCare ANZ and Telstra Health. 

“Jessica has quickly become an invaluable member of the Biza team,” Mr Low said. “With Jessica’s steady hand on the tiller and well-reasoned strategic thinking, Biza is well-placed to continue to simultaneously scale and drive innovation throughout the CDR ecosystem.” has continued to build out its team in the midst of rapid customer growth. In the past quarter, Biza has focused on growing its customer success, security and product teams, bringing the number of total staff to 32, an increase of 48 percent. It has plans to hire a further five employees across its product and go-to-market teams, including a cloud engineer and two mid-level engineers to support a number of innovations in the pipeline, Mr Low said. 

Biza kickstarted the DataRight Plus initiative in 2023 and has developed a draft standard for Action Initiation in the CDR. Biza intends to pilot this specification amongst its customer base later in 2024.

Founded in 2017, the Brisbane-based helps banks, financial institutions, energy retailers and data economy participants navigate the highly regulated CDR ecosystem and comply and innovate within the Australian data sharing landscape. More than 18 million consumers have data-sharing access enabled by Biza technology.


Aussie courier innovator’s promise to zoom to you faster

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business >>

STEVE ORENSTEIN wanted to reshape the delivery and courier industry.

So he created Zoom2U which enables private drivers to become courier. It’s a business that competes with Uber.

Orenstein said the great differentiator is that customers actually get to know who the driver is. 

“We’re a market place connecting the customer to the driver so you’re building a relationship between the two parties and the ability to be able to communicate with that driver,” Mr Orenstein told Talking Business.

He said the technology layer that sits over the top allows the customer to see who the driver is and when that driver is actually arriving – and seeing that on the map.

He said Zoom2U was created to fill a gap in the courier and delivery service industry.

“When I started the business, I went through the experience of placing a delivery online, never knowing when the courier was actually arriving and so from that, I thought, can I build an experience that’s much better for the consumer and knowing when that delivery is actually occurring and using a lot of technology to do that,” Mr Orenstein said.

“So what we’re fulfilling is allowing e-commerce and retail businesses to have something delivered on the same day but also being able to see the live location of that drive actually arriving,”

Zoom2U will send consumers a text message enabling them to a link showing the live location of the driver, the estimated arrival time and even the ability to call the driver.

The business, which started in 2014, is used by consumers and SMEs and brands like Nespresso.

The other differentiator for Zoom2U is that it is so easy for drivers to sign up to the platform. It is completely flexible. 

”Drivers have the ability to use their existing vehicle so it’s quite easy for us to scale up,” Mr Orenstein said. “Drivers choose when they’re going to work, which bookings they actually take or whether they deliver for five hours in a day, or two hours, or the whole week.

“They have complete flexibility in being able to do that. Having the ability to be so flexible gives the ability for many drivers to sign up.”

Zoom2U also has apps for business.

One is called Locate2U which has all the technology of Zoom2U.

“That’s designed for any business that manages their own fleet of drivers,” Mr Orenstein said.

“The Locate2U app takes all their bookings for the day, optimises their route, builds them into runs for drivers and provides that same live tracking experience for the customer,” he said.

“So rather than saying we can deliver it today, we can deliver it to a 15 minute time window and provides SMS alerts for those customers.”

Zoom2U also acquired an app called Local Delivery which sits on the Shopify e-commerce platform.

Mr Orenstein said retailers have been taking to it because they now know people want things delivered faster.

“What that allows you to do is, if you’re a Shopify e-commerce owner, and you’re wanting to provide local delivery to your customers, you need to ask the customer when you want that product delivered and here are the available time windows to do that,” he said. 


Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at



KwikKopy has quick turnaround in its fortunes

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business >>

PRINTING provider KwikKopy is rebranding itself as part of a new and successful growth strategy.

It comes after a hard, few years for the company. KwikKopy had been in decline for the last 12 years, from a revenue perspective.

The organisation had been growing steadily up until the global financial crisis (GFC). The franchise business stopped growing from 2008 when the GFC hit.

In the 11 years until COVID-19, it had declined 16.78 percent. The number of KwikKopy centres had gone from 108 to 92. The result: a 17 percent decline in top line sales revenues and a 13 percent decline in its footprint of store locations.

However, last year the business grew for the first time since 2008, growing 2.8 percent on pre-COVID numbers, and that was with the business in Sydney and Melbourne struggling with COVID conditions. Taking the Sydney and Melbourne CBD operations out, the rest of the business grew 11 percent. 

Back on track

This year the business is expecting to grow 7 percent. The figures at the end of Q1 show it’s on track to meet that.

KwikKopy has re-engaged with its franchise network and brought in a lot of new infrastructure and technology. With automation, it is looking to increase productivity in the centres.

Sonia Schwabsky, KwikKopy’s CEO, said the company’s growth strategy was now focused on two areas in its new format.

First, it has moved from a focus on small format – A3 and A4 – print. In the last year it has moved into the wide format of signage.

“That really had a renaissance during the COVID times. If you recall, there were floors, stickers and window signage and all of that really started to become a strong area,” Ms Schwabsky told Talking Business.

“Luckily KwikKopy had identified this a couple of years before and we’re really investing heavily in becoming known for signage at the same level as signage providers.”

She said the other big growth area for the company was design.

“We’ve always done design but probably always connected to print,” Ms Schwabsky said.

“We see design as an area with all the new technology that people have at their disposal, you’ve got do-it-yourself tools like Canva.

“But what do you do when you’ve outgrown doing it yourself? Where do you go? What’s your next step?

“There is a great opportunity for KwikKopy to provide those services,” Ms Schwabsky said. “We have a lot of graphic designers in our midst and we are looking at ways to bolster that supply line.”   

More complete marketing services company

In short, Ms Schwabsky is making sure that KwikKopy has much more of a ‘marketing services’ approach to its customers.

She said parts of the business, such as administrative print, training manuals and business cards, had declined with digitisation.

“Like you do with any good category management product management, these things are in decline, what are the things that will replace them?” she said.

Ms Schwabsky said signage and short-run packaging – due to the e-commerce and online “explosion” – have picked up the slack.

“We can do things quickly, we can do things close to where you are, and we can do short runs which dovetails into the next big change in our industry, which is digital,” she said.

“So digital marketing, digital advertising, that’s the natural way things move.

“If you’re a small business, then we need to empower entrepreneurs to make their mark on the world. So we’re looking at digital signage and that digital space.”  


Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at




Eldridge, Brightstar, Claure Group win agreement to buy Ausenco

BRISBANE-Headquartered Ausenco, a global integrated engineering and consulting services provider to the minerals and metals industries – and increasingly the energy transition market – has confirmed a ‘definitive agreement’ to sell a majority stake to bidders Eldridge, Brightstar Capital Partners, and Claure Group.

Ausenco’s co-founder, Zimi Meka, will remain CEO, board member and investor.  Mike Burke, the former chairman and CEO of AECOM, served as an advisor and partner to Eldridge and the buyer consortium and he is expected to join Ausenco’s board of directors as chairman.

The consortium has bought a majority stake in Ausenco from Resource Capital Fund VI L.P. and other co-investors. 

Founded in 1991, Ausenco’s 3,000 employees are focused on the world’s most challenging engineering and consulting projects, drawing on deep technical expertise with a commitment to sustainably delivering end-to-end solutions for its clients and their communities.

Ausenco’s team of scientists, engineers and professionals design and build efficient mine and metal extraction facilities; deliver sustainable mine waste and water management, and mine closure and remediation solutions; and engage with local and Indigenous communities to create lasting benefit.

“We’ve always been about challenging what’s possible and delivering services sustainably and with integrity,” Mr Meka said. “From permitting to closure, our people are finding better ways to plan projects, efficiently use resources, protect the environment, and deliver value to clients and communities. In Eldridge, Brightstar, and Claure Group we have partners that understand this ambition and our culture.”

Eldridge co-founders Todd Boehly, Tony Minella and Duncan Bagshaw made a joint statement: “We invest in what people need and what people want – both qualities expressed in Ausenco’s activity the past three decades.

“Ausenco has worked around the world to deliver minerals critical to nearly every aspect of our lives and to the ongoing energy transition. We are excited to partner with a world-class management team to further enhance and diversify their service offerings.”

Brightstar Capital Partners founder and CEO, Andrew Weinberg said, “Ausenco plays a vital role in facilitating the global transition to electrification and electric vehicles.  Brightstar is confident that Ausenco is strategically positioned for future growth due to its impressive track record of performance, and the anticipated increased demand for metals and minerals that are essential to sustainable solutions.”

Claure Group founder and CEO, Marcelo Claure, who will join Ausenco’s board, said, “With the shift to more sustainable energy gaining momentum, Latin America will have a key role to play as the main producing region for essential minerals, such as copper and lithium.

“Given Ausenco’s strong presence and pipeline of projects in the region, we believe the company will be at the forefront of this transition, actively contributing to the electrification of the world.”

Claure Group is a multi-billion-dollar global investment firm spanning multiple high growth sectors including tech, telecom, media, real estate, essential minerals, and sports, led by Marcelo Claure. Notable investments include T-Mobile, where Claure is the largest individual shareholder; SHEIN, the global number one on-demand fashion company; Bicycle Capital, a Latin America focused growth equity fund; and Brightstar Capital Partners, a leading US middle market private equity firm.

Perella Weinberg Partners is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Ausenco in connection with the transaction.

Franchisees buy into Jim's better lifestyle

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business >>

JIM’S GROUP, the company behind outfits like Jim’s Mowing, Jim’s Dog Wash, and Jim’s Cleaning, has had spectacular growth.

Jim Penman, who created the company, said the growth might come from what’s been termed the ‘Great Resignation’ – a recent phenomenon of many people leaving their jobs – and he also saw that a great many of Jim’s franchisees were immigrants.

Mr Penman said another reason for the growth was that the franchisees were working from home.

Jim’s has a policy where all work is localised, so franchisees don’t have to drive to work that’s more than 10 to 15 minutes away from their home. It means commuting is kept to a minimum.

“The aim of the system is to reduce travelling to an extreme degree” Mr Penman told Talking Business

“So someone might be spending their whole day working within a 10 to 15 minute drive from their house.”

He said many studies had found that people hate commuting more than anything.

“They reckon that someone on $75,000 a year who is working from home or close by has the same level of satisfaction as someone on $150,000 with an hour long commute,” he said.

“It sounds astonishing but that’s what the research shows.”

Franchises to suit most people

Jim’s Group has 52 franchises. The most successful are mowing, dog wash, pool care, cleaning, fencing, pest control, handyman, security doors, IT and book-keeping.

The most popular is mowing. Dog wash is the fastest growing.

Australians and New Zealanders find it easy to make the transition to running their own business because they are egalitarian, according to Mr Penman. He said it was “a distinctive feature of Australian society”.

“If you were in Texas and you said you were leaving some corporate desk job to go and start a lawn mowing business, people would say, ‘Come on, you’re going to work with your hands? That’s for Mexicans and blacks, the lesser breeds,” Mr Penman said.

“But in Australia, if you’re a manager and you want to run your own business, you’d say ‘Isn’t that great? I always wanted to be self-employed’.

“This idea of independence is very Australian.”

Making ‘a go’ of own business

Australians loved the idea of being in charge of their own business, Mr Penman said.

As a result, he said a lot of people with corporate backgrounds in management become franchisees.

“The opportunities are quite extraordinary and we find that people with that background tend to do very well,” he said.

Mr Penman said the group encouraged franchisees to employ people and build a workforce for their company. The fee of $800 (per month) was nothing compared with what they would be making.

The top companies in the Jim’s Group had turnover in the millions, he said.

“If you are actually successful and can take on workers, you can be turning over a vast sum of money and your fees would be $800 a month. It’s almost trivial,” Mr Penman said.

He said the biggest problem was finding good people, Mr Penman said.

Most people select a franchise because it’s better for their lifestyle, according to Mr Penman said.

“They tend to say $120,000 a year is all I need but I want to see my kids growing up,” he said.


Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at

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