Australian export case study
Australian waste water filtration and treatment company, Everything Water, is finding success in overseas markets, particularly Southern Europe, China and Indonesia, by taking up opportunities to improve the quality of waterways around the world.
For the last two years, the company has been supplying the Serbian market with water treatment systems. The company’s entry into Serbia started when the government recognised the need for sound environmental legislation to protect a valuable natural resource — its rivers.
|Staff from Everything Water’s Serbian partner, XL-Australia, installing equipment at a fish processing plant.
Everything Water’s business partnerships have steadily grown; and now the company has a pipeline of more than A$10 million in Serbia. Managing Director, Mr Peter Hardman said, “We have been accepted as the preferred supplier for the sewerage treatment and potable water treatment for the Kaponik resort in the north of Serbia. This project alone is worth A$1.8 million.
“We are also confident of two smaller projects—one for a cardboard manufacturer and another for a fruit juice manufacturer—that are close to A$1 million combined,” Mr Hardman said.
While at first the company thought Europe too hard a market to break, Everything Water’s partnership with a local agent of Australian origin, XL Australia, enabled it to carve a worthy reputation for itself in Serbia, which acted “as a good reference to prospective customers,” Mr Hardman said.
The central project in Serbia which Everything Water is targeting is the treatment of waste water discharged into the River Sava, which runs through the capital city, Belgrade. There are more than 500 floating restaurants along the river and all waste is currently piped directly into the water.
“The treated water will be available for irrigation and the sludge created during treatment will be of a quality that can be used as fertiliser,” Mr Hardman said, adding that the project is worth about A$40 million in total.
Everything Water has also been asked to work on the rejuvenation of two 'dead' lakes in Serbia, which forms part of an A$66 million budget set aside by the Serbian government for the project.
Despite this success, Mr Hardman said the global financial crisis hit the company hard. “We have grown steadily in the last five years however were set back seriously by the global financial crisis and have taken some time to rebuild,” he said.
During this rebuilding phase Everything Water has continued its association with Austrade and concentrated on furthering their business networks in Southern Europe, China and Indonesia—which Mr Hardman considers the strongest prospects. The company has also received interest from the USA and Vietnam.
“We pride ourselves on our reputation and subsequently we do not appoint overseas distributors lightly. It takes serious financial commitment to be able to not only sell our equipment, but it must be maintained,” Mr Hardman said.
“The investment therefore is not only time, but staff and spare parts,” Mr Hardman said.
Everything Water’s current annual turnover is A$2.4 million, of which 25 per cent comes from export.
Mr Hardman said his company has had a continued association with Austrade, in Southern Europe and South East Asia. “Austrade is always been of the greatest assistance in building our relationships with both customers and possible distributors.
“We are now looking at opportunities in Indonesia and will be in touch with Austrade Jakarta shortly, as statistics for the growth of Indonesia, particularly in areas of environment, rate the highest in Southeast Asia,” Mr Hardman said.
The company has also benefitted from the Australian Government’s Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) scheme, administered by Austrade, which reimburses, in part, eligible export promotion expenses.