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RareX Limited (ASX:REE) – Jeremy Robinson

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The CEO Mindset - Jeremy Robinson, Executive Director of RareX (ASX:REE)

Jeremy Robinson is the Executive Director of RareX (ASX:REE), an ASX-listed specialist company focussed on developing Rare Earths deposits in Australia including Cummins Range Rare Earths Project in the East Kimberly region of Western Australia.

What is your journey in becoming an Executive Director/CEO?
My journey in resources started a long way back having been around mining and exploration my for most of my life with my father being a geologist and in the mining business. After leaving university with a commerce degree from the University of Western Australia I moved to Sydney for a brief stint as a mining analyst with a leading independent stockbroking firm. From there I spent approximately 15 years in junior and mid-cap resource companies across a variety of commodities and in a variety of roles but mostly focussed on Business Development so I got the chance to assess I variety of project which is most enjoyable. So then to cut a long story short I was between roles early last year and was asked to look for Rare Earth projects for an upcoming listing and the more I looked at the industry I decided it was a business I wanted to get involved and as it transpired the company asked me too stay on and run the company.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercializing?
RareX is a Rare Earths developer located in Western Australia planning to deliver rare earth concentrate into refineries based around the world as the Electric Vehicle and Green energy revolution transforms the world with lower polluting technologies with the refined rare earths being used in Rare Earth Permanent Magnets. Since going public late last year RareX has been critically assessing its project at Cummins Range and building a team to assess the best path forward for its project. RareX has also been working with industry leading consultants and players in the rare earth business such as Talaxis Group which is a fully owned subsidiary of Noble Group limited. This relationship will help RareX navigate the Asian landscape and introduce us to end users and refiners of our product.

How are you managing with the current COVID-19 pandemic on both business and personal front?
On a business front COVID -19 has affected market sentiment in the short term although we all know how quick that can turn. Practically it has limited our ability to access certain areas of the state easily without certain practices and procedures in place designed to protect the communities in which we operate that have a higher indigenous population than say Perth does for instance. RareX has been preparing these procedures and all in all has probably delayed our proposed exploration program by 2 months but the field season is only just beginning so it won’t affect us in the long term. On a personal level I must admit I find it very hard working from home as I have two young children and also my wife is currently working from home.

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
Working in Rare Earths you are forced to be across all the latest technological developments as rare earths are critical components in a lot of these technologies – I quite enjoy that. I also like the time I get to spend in the Kimberley where our project is located as it is such an ancient and beautiful landscape. And then there is all the people you get to meet and interact with from the contractors and consultants we use to the shareholders we report to and keep up to date with the companies it’s all good stuff.

How do you measure success?
As a publicly listed company there is only one true measure of success and that is share price appreciation. Simple as that.

What do you think is the most important quality of being an Executive Director/CEO of a listed company?
Hard to say as haven’t been at it long but I guess what strikes me is the variety of people in the role and the ones I find most impressive are the CEO’s that have built their businesses from the ground up. But I guess I would have to say tenacity and the ability to just keep going. Communication is also important, if you can’t explain to people what you are doing then it probably isn’t going to work.

What is your favourite book?
I am currently reading a book called Rare Earth Frontiers by Julie Michelle Klinger which examines the history and geopolitical importance of the Rare Earths business across the globe. It is particularly good at explaining how the industry got to where it is today as essentially a Chinese monopoly which is something the west is now trying to address. I have not finished it yet as generally takes me awhile to get through a book so hopefully am a bit more enlightened at the end of it

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia?
Asia is the epicentre of the Rare earths business so RareX so we hope to build a presence their both with attracting shareholders and ultimately selling our products. Stay tuned.

How can people connect with you?
Email:
jeremy@rarex.com.au
RareX Website: https://www.rarex.com.au/

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Industrials

Baumart Holdings (ASX:BMH) – Matt Logan

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The CEO Mindset - Matthew Logan is the Executive Director of Baumart Holdings (ASX:BMH)

Matthew Logan is the Executive Director of Baumart Holdings (ASX:BMH), a supplier of building products to the residential and commercial construction industries. The Company has invested in automated glass-processing equipment that is capable of producing a range of custom-made glass products for supply to the building construction industry. 

What’s your journey in becoming an Executive Director?
I started my career in 2006 providing corporate and accounting services for 10 years to various ASX listed clients in the mining, energy, industrial and technology industries. I co-founded Eco Pallets in March 2009 and having been exposed to a variety of companies, I had a very clear idea on how I wanted to grow the business. Eco Pallets was eventually acquired by BauMart Holdings in May 2016 and I was appointed as an Executive Director shortly after.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercializing?
BauMart started its journey in 2014 investing in automated glass processing equipment which is leased to an experienced operator in Sydney. Since then, the business has diversified and now spans across equipment rental, end to end procurement, product distribution and managed services.

Since our first lodgement of accounts in FY15, our growth has seen a near tenfold increase in sales to $4.5m as of FY19.

Baumart has established a far-reaching distribution presence in the key regions of Australia. With a Head Office in Perth, we manage operations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and overseas in Auckland, New Zealand.

This expansive distribution platform ensures we optimise our capabilities with a robust network of infrastructure that has great potential for other suppliers to utilise. We have sustained consistent organic growth with no capital raising since June 2017.

This is further complemented by a very structured approach to investing in the right people. I believe our people are our biggest asset and I am committed to appointing only the highest quality teams.

How are you managing with the current COVID-19 pandemic on both business and personal front?
The COVID-19 interruption to our supply chain was minimal with our China based goods being shipped out in December 2019, well before the lockdown, with consignments delivered to Australia and West Africa. Manufacturing in China has resumed in late February 2020 and our next orders have already started arriving into Australia.

Our other key supplier, of plastic pallets and crates, based in Malaysia, has been granted approval for the factory to operate, for reasons relating to their link to essential services.

As for the effect on our business, Eco Pallets, our key revenue generating division, supplies products that are necessities within the supply chain, ensuring essential services are able to reach supermarkets, hospitals and pharmacies. As such, we have seen minimal interruption to date with our Australian based operations, though this is being closely monitored.

We are an agile, cloud-based business with full digital capabilities and as a result of this, our transition to working from home was seamless with little to no interruption. We have been operating remotely since 23rd March 2020 and I have been averaging at least 15 – 20 voice and video calls per day.

Personally, I am adapting quite well to the changes but do have some frustration with not being able to play tennis on a regular basis like before. The game meets the definition of physical distancing so I was very surprised that it was shutdown. I still run, walk or hike on a regular basis to keep fit.

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
Challenges. In a growing business there is not a day that goes by where you feel bored. If running a business was easy then everyone would be rich. No project is without its challenges and that is what keeps me motivated.

How do you measure success?
The easy answer would be to say measures such as revenue growth, profitability or customer retention. Personally, I measure success by how much work-life balance is present in my life. I have spent the last 4 years building a strong team and investing time into my staff so they have the opportunity to develop their skills and progress. As a result of this, I have been able to enjoy a more balanced life and contribute equally to the demands on my professional and personal life.

What do you think is the most important quality of being an Executive Director of a listed company?
Consistency balanced with timely adaptation. Being consistent in everything you do makes your staff, shareholders, suppliers and customers know they are associated with a strong company with a clear vision. Additionally, if you are not trying new things, new ways, new methods, trial and error, then your competition will leave you behind.

What is your favourite book?
Andre Agassi’s autobiography. I was never a really big fan of him as a tennis player but his autobiography was so captivating. I read the entire book on a red eye flight from Perth to Sydney back in 2010. It was such a raw account with an important lesson for everyone to understand. It taught me that no matter what your situation is, it is up to you to take ownership of your life.

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia?
BauMart has manufacturing partners in China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. We have had partnerships with some of these spanning 10 years. This is BauMart’s key strength, securing distributorships and pursuing strategic investment. Being a diversified distributor with a robust Australia wide footprint, this presents significant opportunities for complementary or synergistic manufacturers seeking expansion into Australia.

How can people connect with you?
Email:
matt.logan@baumart.com.au
Baumart Holdings Website: http://baumart.com.au/

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Industry Classes

Technology Metals Australia Limited (ASX:TMT) – Ian Prentice

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The CEO Mindset - Ian Prentice, Managing Director Of Technology Metals Australia Limited (ASX:TMT)

Ian Prentice is the Managing Director of Technology Metals Australia Limited (ASX:TMT), a mining company in the exploration and development of its World Class high grade Gabanintha Vanadium project in Western Australia.

What’s your journey in becoming a CEO?
I am a Geologist by training, having studied at the University of Western Australia, and spent the first 10 years or so of my career as a field geologist across exploration and mining throughout Australasia. I then pivoted into the financial markets, where I spent 7 years as a sell side Mining Analyst in the equity capital markets. This experience was the foundation for my transition into management roles in the Mineral Exploration and Development sector, with my first role as the founding Managing Director of a gold developer that we listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercializing?
Technology Metals Australia Limited (ASX:TMT) is an Australian Securities Exchange mineral exploration and development company based in Perth Western Australia. We listed TMT in December 2016 with the aim of progressing the development of our flagship Gabanintha Vanadium Project (GVP) located in the mid-west of Western Australia, about 700km north east of Perth. GVP was a relatively early stage exploration play when we listed which we have now taken through a number of exploration and resource definition drilling phases, generating one of the World’s highest-grade large-scale vanadium resources. We completed a PFS on GVP in June 2018, only 18 months from listing, and then progressed through to delivery of a high-quality Definitive Feasibility Study in August last year, demonstrating a lowest quartile operating cost project. The focus now is building on customer relationships to establish binding offtake agreements, heavily supported by a development project in the World’s best mining jurisdiction and pilot scale testwork demonstrating one of the highest purity vanadium pentoxide products on the market. In parallel with this work we are also focused on establishing the project finance mix to rapidly progress the development of the GVP to be the next primary vanadium mine in the World.

How are you managing with the current COVID-19 pandemic on both business and personal front?
On the business front we moved quite quickly to remote working arrangements, with the team staying engaged via regular video conferencing, and immediately put in place a range of cost reduction measures to ensure balance sheet strength through the period of disruption. We are fortunate that we completed the complex work streams involved in the Definitive Feasibility Study in 2019, so the level of field and laboratory work required has greatly diminished. Our focus on progressing the commercial discussions is continuing apace via teleconference and video communication platforms, which is achievable largely due to the relationships we have built with counterparties over the past two years when I have been doing a lot of travel to conduct those all important relationship building face-to-face meetings. Personally I have adjusted to working from home quite well, keeping in regular contact with the team and other stakeholders via online platforms, modifying my daily exercise routine to offset the fact that my local swimming pool has closed and even getting a few of the jobs done around the home during our weekends in isolation.

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
Establishing a team of highly skilled professionals and then working collaboratively with that team to progress the GVP from that early stage exploration project to completion of a high quality Definitive Feasibility Study on one of the highest grade, largest scale, lowest operating cost vanadium development projects in the World in a little over two and a half years. This has now got us to the starting line for what is going to be a hugely exciting period of time as we finance and then develop the next primary vanadium mine in the World. Building on the team to deliver on that promise is a very exciting proposition.

How do you measure success?
Success in my view is all about delivery. Delivering on our collective vision, delivering on the growth potential of individuals within the team, growing the value of our underlying business and ultimately contributing to the society in which we live and work. The GVP is located in a remote part of Western Australian close to the regional town of Meekatharra – ultimate success for me is the development of a profitable mining project that generates returns for our shareholders, provides our employees and contractors with a safe, rewarding workplace that they take pride in but most importantly generates long term meaningful social and economic benefits for the community in which we operate.

What do you think is the most important quality of being a CEO of a listed company?
In my view successful management is all about communication. So whether you are CEO of a listed company or the president of the local sporting club how you communicate to all of your stakeholders is of paramount importance. Achieving “buy-in” is incredibly important and that starts and ends with communication.

What is your favourite book?
Early on in my TMT journey I was at a vanadium conference in Wuhan, China and was recommended a book called Mr China by Tim Clissold – an Englishman who spent sixteen years travelling, working and investing in China. A great read to explore the emergence of China as one of the World’s economic powerhouses and how a “foreigner” came to develop an understanding of the Chinese culture and business practices. From a more recreational point of view I have just finished reading Jeffrey Archer’s seven volume The Clifton Chronicles, following the trials and tribulations of a range of families as they navigated there way through the twentieth century.

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia?
Technology Metals is at a really exciting time in its emergence as a vanadium producer in a period when vanadium demand growth has been steadily outpacing supply, driven by growth in consumption in the traditional steel market but also underpinned by the exciting emergence of the vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) market. As the World progresses to more and more green energy solutions, effective, affordable and sustainable energy storage will become crucial and VRFB is going to be a key player in that revolution. GVP will be a low cost producer of the high purity vanadium required for VRFB deployment and when developed will be just the fourth “primary” vanadium mine in the World.

How can people connect with you?
Email:
ian@tmtlimited.com.au
Technology Metals Australia Website: https://www.tmtlimited.com.au/

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Health Care

InteliCare (ASX:ICR) – Jason Waller

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The CEO Mindset - Jason Waller, Chief Executive Officer of InteliCare Holdings Ltd (ASX:ICR)

Jason Waller is the CEO of InteliCare (ASX:ICR), an Australian-based initiative, aiming to address the personal, social, economic and geographic challenges faced by Australia’s ageing population. InteliCare Home enables families and caregivers the ability to “check-in” on the wellbeing of an elderly or disabled person living independently through an easy-to-use app. This non-intrusive way of monitoring the person’s health and safety will instantly alert you to irregular activity and can lead to early prevention of a fall or other health problem.

What’s your journey in becoming a CEO?
I followed a fairly unusual path because I started my career as an Air Force pilot. I did this for over 20 years and had the privilege of holding commands in both combat and peace-time operations. I decided to leave the Air Force so my family could have a more stable life, but also to challenge myself on a new front. It turns out, the skills required when leading a combat unit are very similar to a CEO in business. In the end, it’s all about people, and people have the same traits, wants and motivations across nearly all disciplines.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercializing?
InteliCare is an Australian technology company founded in January 2016 that has commercialised a predictive analytics engine hardware and software system for use in the aged care and health industries. InteliCare believes Australians deserve to age with dignity and through its business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) solutions built on its proprietary internet of things (IOT) platform utilising smart sensors and artificial intelligence (AI), InteliCare aims to enable people to stay in their own homes for longer while empowering healthcare providers to deliver higher quality, more efficient services. The R&D phase was largely completed in 2019 and now a full commercialisation program is underway.

How are you managing with the current COVID-19 pandemic on both business and personal front?
I felt fairly on in the piece that we were heading for isolation, so as a company we practiced the procedure at smaller scales and then had a full stay-at-home exercise well before it became the norm. We then went into stay-at-home mode before it became required by the government. Hence, it really wasn’t a big speed-bump, if anything, COVID-19 has made us busier. This is because the system has highlighted the need to protect the elderly. On a personal front, I’m really enjoying working alongside my wife and three University-aged kids. It’s unexpected but very welcoming family time. I do miss the day-to-day camaraderie of the team. However, we’re all on a continuous Microsoft Teams call during the day, so there’s lots of interaction.

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
The people – it’s always about the people. Seeing what they can do, how innovative and entrepreneurial they are and how they solve complex problems is really what fascinates me. It also keeps me on my toes as I have to keep up with them. The feeling when it all comes together, especially when there were hard, intractable problems, is terrific. It’s very much what the military strives to foster, and it’s just as powerful in the private sector.

How do you measure success?
For a listed company, it’s folded into the share price. At the end of the day, we are about creating shareholder wealth. However, and it’s a BIG “however”, doing good by helping society is core to our company’s values. Therefore, I will measure my success more on building and selling a great product that changes lives, because that will deliver the shareholder returns in the end.

What do you think is the most important quality of being a CEO of a listed company?
Leadership, end of story.

What is your favourite book?
I have many favourites because I read across lots of different domains. However, an unusual pick, but one I have recently recommended to many people, is “Open”, the autobiography of Andre Agassi. I would hardly ever read, let alone recommend a biography, but this is more a lesson on overcoming failure. You can’t put it down. It’s even better if you don’t really follow tennis. I’d love to meet the man.

How can people connect with you?
Email:
jason.waller@intelicare.com.au
InteliCare Website: https://intelicare.com.au/

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