Cynthia Dearin, Managing Director of Dearin & Associates, interviews Aaron Gilchrist, one of the original partners of Bridge to Life Pty Ltd. Aaron grew his company from a tiny two-man operation in the US to an international company operating in 50 markets around the world.
Bridge to Life is working with the cause of organ donation. Bridge to Life’s products serve to preserve organs while they are being transported during the donation and transplantation.
The company was founded in 2005 and went commercial in late 2008. They decided to expand overseas as the original focus was to let people know who they were in the US, but a year later, other countries heard about their products. In 2011 and 2012 they went global with a commitment to standing behind their product as opposed to many competitors. Europe was their target market for business expansion due to the extensive research in the industry as well as connections between doctors.
The international business strategy that Bridge to Life used was centred around logistics with having products at the right time and in the right state. One of their secrets to success was utilising third party logistics providers who helped pick and pack products near airports, but also helped with general logistics.
Aaron tells how he was motivated about an international adventure, because international adventures are all about having the best play day ever! Going out knocking on doors was adventurous to Aaron but also ten times the work they had done in the US. A region like Europe with many countries of different cultures and languages was definitely a key challenge to Bridge to Life, and thinking back on the journey Aaron believes they could have done better and faster in Europe if they had been better prepared.
Aaron advices people to take every day by a day at a time and push towards research and results in different markets.
Bridge to Life did two major things that made them successful:
- Always be ready to be able to deliver within hours in the market you operate.
- Always putting the cause to the industry first as they promote heavily on being an organ donor and combining the effort of the clients too.
But most importantly, you have to be passionate about your business and what you do.