Cynthia Dearin, Managing Director of Dearin & Associates, interviews Melinda Richards about going global with her company SuperSprout, which delivers a 100% pure, real, non-GMO fruit and vegetable powders with no additives, preservatives or artiﬁcial colours.
Melinda started her own business after 21 years in the corporate world. She was inspired by her entrepreneur father to start her own business and after running her own consultancy, she decided to dedicate herself to the food business with SuperSprout.
Melinda tells Cynthia how she went about going offshore and looking for new clients and the frustrations she faced that had mostly to do with doing business in Australia. As while Australians recognise that going global takes a lot of effort into working with other cultures, within Australia there are a lot of cultural nuances as well which are at times not recognised. In Melinda’s case, the company for example had to consider the different cultures and their eating habits. Another issue Melinda faced when starting her business was that Australians don’t place a high value on health & nutrition.
Her second frustration was the lack of money in Australia and the government which lacks support to smaller enterprises. Going overseas was therefore a natural step for SuperSprout. As soon as SuperSprout got a world class website, the interest from the Asian and European markets happened quickly. People from these markets are very interested in getting quick access to nutrition.
Going global had a few challenges for SuperSprout. But when they chose a highly recognised tradeshow, the results started kicking in.
One advice Melinda gives us is that you don’t need to get too excited if a few people love your product, because if you have a great product thousands of people are going to love it.
Today, SuperSprout sells product to around 6-8 countries but they started looking into focusing on the US and China. Now, they have a settled business in the US and about to do a joint venture with their customer in China whom they spent three years developing a close relationship with. Strategically, SuperSprout will have their focus in these two markets in the future.
By the end of the year, 60-70% of their business will be export. Their five-year goal is to have 90% of their business going to export.