Interview with Elodie Desporte-Duperry, Co-Founder and Director
Could you tell us more about E&G Global’s core activity and its beginnings?
E&G Global was officially set-up in February 2016. It started as a group of 2 companies specialised in import and export, Axxess Tyres and S’Il Te Plait, operated by myself and my partner, William Amiot. While Axxess Tyres started only 16 months ago, I’ve been running S’Il Te Plait, importing kids room decoration and toys, since 2013. This business started very organically, while I was a new mum, to answer the frequent requests of our friends to access the French products we had purchased for our own kids. All our products are designed by French artists and are today distributed through a network of 25 resellers around Australia.
With Axxess Tyres, we are dealing with small 15 inch car tyres up to 57 inch mining tyres. We are now shipping 5 containers every week in and out of 20 countries, with a major focus on Europe, the Middle-East and South East Asia. After only 16 months of activity, we are proud to announce a turn-over of AUD$7 M for our first complete financial year.
Can you describe your personal background and your role within E&G Global?
We actually created E&G Global as a framework to enable both of us to work on both companies. We have complementary skills: I am marketing specialist and William is a skillful purchaser and negotiator with a background in international sales.
We were actually just holidaying in Australia in 2011 when a local spare parts company offered William a position as Sales Manager as well as the opportunity for the whole family – I was pregnant at the time! – to be sponsored for a 457 visa. Although new to this sector, William quickly learnt and sensed there was a new business opportunities in the international tyres trade. This is a global market which mainly requires digesting massive amount of data and crunching numbers, which he is exceptionally good at. It also requires, at least in the early stages, to travel internationally to build strong business relationships. After a few promising years, we decided it was time to follow our dream of becoming full time entrepreneurs and working together. Hence, we created Axxess Tyres and E&G Global.
Both moves, first moving to Australia, and then resigning to create our own company were not easy decisions to take though! When we left France, we both had successful careers, myself as the owner/operator of my own communication and events agency in Paris and William, as the European Sales Director for a global American company. Moving to Australia meant dividing our income by two! The second time around, it required again both of us to leave secure positions with no guarantee of success. However, in both instance it was a matter of following our dreams not only professionally but as a couple and a family. We made the conscious choice to create an environment in which we can blossom professionally, but also on a personal level, as individuals, as a couple and as a family. This means making sure we dedicated quality time to our kids, our relationship without forgetting some ‘Me time’ and physical activity to remain healthy. It is all about balance and Brisbane has been a really good place to achieve those goals.
How do you envisage the future of your company and how can FACCI help you achieve your objectives?
With S’Il Te Plait, thanks to our 2 employees, we will continue to grow our network of resellers and keep developing partnerships with French suppliers who can both guarantee quality and restocking. As such, we just signed a new exclusive distributorship agreement with a very-well known French brand that we will introduce to the Australian market during the next Kids Instyle Show in Melbourne in August.
With Axxess Tyres, we have two roads ahead. In the short term, we are planning to focus on the local Australian tyres market. A new entity will be launched by September and we are currently recruiting 5 people to join this new team. And on the long term, thanks to our various strategic alliances in Singapore, Thailand, South Africa and United States, we are envisaging other growth opportunities, in diverse sectors,
But for now, there is one project that is particularly dear to us. A few months ago we’ve actually added a new activity to E&G Global, with a third company called E&G Consulting. This new venture was born after we were invited to talk in front of students at our former business schools in France. The feedback we received was extremely positive and we were soon invited back. This made us realised that our experience as young professionals who had moved overseas and our wholesome approach to entrepreneurship was very valuable and much needed to inspire the millennials generation. Through E&G Consulting, we promote a Positive Psychology around Happiness. We are now available for public speaking and would welcome opportunities to talk at high schools, universities, companies or at a FACCI event! Of course, we also offer private consulting, providing advice on business plans and how to set-up a business in Australia.
Being part of FACCI over the last nine months has given us many opportunities to connect with new business people as well as the French community. Some of those connections, for instance with Albatross Lawyers, ESSCA business school or Le Comptoir Français, have been very valuable to our business and we look forward to more introductions. More recently, thanks to your Meet the CEO series, we’ve had the privilege to discuss for a long while with Graham Turner the Founder and CEO of the Flight Centre Travel Group, which was really inspiring! Finally, through its various media platforms, the Chamber also offers us the opportunity to increase our brand awareness and to promote our various activities which is key for a start-up.
For more info, please consult: www.eandgglobal.com.
Interview conducted by Rosalie Grau and Claire Dupré on 1 June 2017.
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