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Audeara (ASX:AUA) – Dr James Fielding

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The CEO Mindset - Dr James Fielding, CEO and Managing Director of Audeara (ASX:AUA)

Dr James Fielding is the CEO and Managing Director of Audeara (ASX:AUA), a hearing health technology company that uses a hearing profile algorithm to personalise sound output to the needs of the listener.

What’s your journey in becoming a Chief Executive Officer?
I started my career in medicine. When I was doing a rotation at a Brisbane hospital I saw how hard it was for patients to get a hearing test in the public health system. Wait times for audiologists were multiple months in the city and even longer in regional areas where people could drive for up to 12 hours to the nearest audiology clinic. Many patients required multiple visits in order to receive the right product to treat their hearing loss. While my co-founder and I were developing tech to help solve that problem we realised there was a broader opportunity to create technology that could deliver a tailored audio experience for those without hearing problems. The result was the world’s first full-fidelity headphones with a built-in hearing test. We’ve gone from strength to strength since then. I stepped away from full-time clinical medicine to build the business and took the reins as CEO once we pivoted from pure medical play to using sound personalisation to enhance quality of life.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercializing?
Our software enables our headphones to change the output in order to suit a listener’s ears. For example, if someone has trouble hearing higher frequency sounds, Audeara’s headphones will boost those frequencies so they stand out. We sell to people who get the biggest benefit from our technology by creating partnerships with hearing health providers. B2B Is the core of what we do. We’ve signed up almost half of Australia’s 1500 audiology clinics as distributors and are now looking to expand globally.

Dr. James Fielding, holding their flagship Audeara A-01 headphones

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
Watching the bounce round the roulette wheel to see where it will finally land. We plan, we push, we optimise, but still, every day I’m surprised by people’s ideas and our customers’ decision making. No two days are ever the same. Ever.

How do you measure success?
Internally, on how I feel. Externally, on revenue. And there is one clear metric – how many people have we helped.

What do you think is the most important quality of being a CEO of a listed company?
The most important quality is conviction. It is essential for guiding a team and a business.

What is your favourite book?
Anything by Bernard Cornwell or Conn Iggulden. Otherwise What Doesn’t Kill Us by Scott Kearney which is an incredible exploration of human capacity and being in control of yourself in any surroundings.

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia & Australia?
As people become more aware of the importance of their hearing health in Asian markets this is going to be a huge opportunity. A number of quality hearing health providers have started to establish themselves and we plan to work alongside these strong partners to deliver our much needed products to the Asian market.  

How can people connect with you?
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesafielding/
Audeara’s Website: https://audeara.com/

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Consumer Discretionary

Q&A With StockPal – Rent.com.au (ASX:RNT)

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Q&A with StockPal - Greg Bader, Chief Executive Officer of Rent.com.au (ASX:RNT)

Watch Greg Bader, Chief Executive Officer of Rent.com.au (ASX:RNT), explains about Rent’s recent share price performance as well as the company’s business model.

0:11 – What is your business about?
0:45 – How did your company cope with the COVID-19 pandemic?
1:28 – How does the company make money?
3:02 – Who are your target customers and key markets?
3:52 – What is Rent’s competitive advantage?
5:22 – How are you currently engaging with your investors?

Visit RNT’s website to learn more about their story: https://www.rent.com.au/

Email editor@stockpal.asia if you are or represent a listed-company and is keen to be in our interviews.

Want to be on the list next time this company raises capital? Open an account with Fresh Equities and start exploring capital raises – freshequities.com

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Consumer Discretionary

Zebit Inc (ASX:ZBT) – Marc Schneider

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The CEO Mindset - Marc Schneider, CEO of Zebit Inc (ASX:ZBT)

Marc Schneider is the CEO of Zebit Inc (ASX:ZBT), a California-based eCommerce company that is dedicated to changing the lives of over 120 million U.S. credit-challenged consumers by giving them access to a broad set of products and the ability to pay for those products in instalments over six months.

What’s your journey in becoming a Chief Executive Officer?
I have been in operations for over 30 years across a wide variety of businesses and industries, with a focus on turnarounds of failing companies, scaling companies for profitability, and start-ups which have their own set of challenges including building a viable product with constrained resources. Becoming a CEO was never part of any overall master plan, as I felt being a President and COO in running daily operations was truly my calling.

In fact, when I co-founded Zebit in 2015, that was my role. It was not until my co-founder transitioned out of the organization that the Board decided to promote me to the CEO role.

Fast forward 3.5 years in this role, I still maintain my daily ops responsibilities as it’s something I really enjoy. The next phase however is to hire a COO whom I can pass the baton to, as we continue to scale the business toward profitability, which is our goal in the next 12 months.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercializing?
Zebit is a new business model focused on providing both eCommerce and a custom credit solution to a credit-challenged consumer base (47% of adults and 120M people) in the U.S. to allow them to have a one-stop shopping experience and the ability to float their payments over six months. We have spent the last five years building our own big data set to allow us to make informed credit decisions to this consumer base, so they can buy what they want without the overhang or fear of interest, hidden fees or penalties common to other credit products that trap consumers in a never-ending cycle of debt.

Over the last five years, we have built scalable acquisition channels to acquire consumers cost-effectively and bring more awareness to Zebit, and we have built out a full eCommerce experience and our own proprietary payment system. We continue to scale the business with the inflow of capital from the recent IPO.

How are you managing with the current COVID-19 pandemic on both business and personal front?
In mid-March our entire workforce went virtual to manage the business without any hiccups. That said, not being together physically, in my view, dampens continuous learning of the employee base and can stifle innovation that flows from that learning. Other than that, we plan to continue to operate Zebit virtually until Summer of 2021 after a vaccine is widely distributed here in the U.S.

On a business front, we continue to upgrade our machine learning models to address risk and are benefiting from those enhancement as the U.S. economy tries to recover.

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
The most exciting aspect of building Zebit is to achieve what others think is impossible.  The status quo in the U.S. and legacy solutions dictate that you must be predatory to successfully service a credit-challenged customer. We don’t believe that and are breaking those stereotypes with predictive machine learning risk models.

Once Zebit becomes profitable, I believe the naysayers will be proven wrong and I cannot wait to declare victory on that front.

How do you measure success?
I look at three success metrics – customer retention and repeat buying, employee retention and commitment to the mission, and expanding contribution margin of the business to break the plane of profitability. 

What do you think is the most important quality of being a Chief Executive Officer of a listed company?
Transparency with the market in terms of the strategy, execution, and KPIs of the business to allow investors to make smart, long terms decisions around their capital deployed.

What is your favourite book?
My favourite business book is The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen.

Two aspects – all businesses and industries can be disrupted and once you disrupt something, don’t assume others won’t come in to take what you have created away. 

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia?
Don’t allow stereotypes of consumers or their past performance with other business models, dissuade you from thinking that disruption cannot happen on a sustainable basis.

Zebit is not a better “mouse-trap”; it is a different model entirely. If entrepreneurs were paralysed by comments such as “you cannot do this,” we would not have experienced much of the advancements that we enjoy today.

Zebit is revolutionizing how eCommerce and credit redelivered to 120M people in the U.S.

Get on board now, because there is going to be massive upside as we continue to scale.

How can people connect with you?
Email:
cassie.geselle@mcpartners.com.au (Media Relations)
Zebit’s Website: https://zebit.com/

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Consumer Discretionary

Q&A With StockPal – iCollege (ASX:ICT)

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Q&A with StockPal - Stuart Manifold, Executive General Manager of iCollege (ASX:ICT)

Watch Stuart Manifold, Executive General Manager of iCollege (ASX:ICT) and Jared Sim, Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of StockPal in this engaging Q&A with the following questions:

0:11 – What is your business about?
0:31 – How did your company cope with the COVID-19 pandemic?
2:39 – How does the company make money?
3:57 – Who are your target customers?
4:38 – What is your firm’s competitive advantage?
5:37 – How are you currently engaging with your investors?

Visit iCollege’s website to learn more about their story: https://www.icollege.edu.au/

Email editor@stockpal.asia if you are or represent a listed-company and is keen to be in our interviews.

Want to be on the list next time this company raises capital? Open an account with Fresh Equities and start exploring capital raises – freshequities.com

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