DOUBLE TAKE FOR DEER

Written on the 28 May 2013

DOUBLE TAKE FOR DEER

RANDALL Deer (pictured), the Gold Coast’s 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year, says his job is fun.

He explains the exciting developments of the last 12 months with genuine passion and he gives the impression he can’t wait to get back to work at Ignite Travel Group.

“It is not a matter of pinching myself for how far the business has come already, because we are always focusing on how far we could go with what we have,” says Deer.

“My biggest concern is not capitalising on the opportunity we see in front of us.”

It is the kind of attitude which has delivered back-to-back Gold Coast Business News Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for Deer and Ignite Travel Group.

The 37-year-old came out of nowhere to win last year, wowing the judges with spectacular revenue and growth figures. Deer didn’t have the element of surprise this year, but his exploits were just as impressive.

The rebranded business has sustained a 63 per cent growth in revenue to almost  $62 million since last year ($38 million). It has increased staff to 125 and moved
into new office space at Broadbeach with enough space for 90 more employees.

Deer started the company in 2005 as RewardsCorp, creating marketing deals for retail companies based on travel.

The business expanded into retail travel with the My Holiday Centre Brands, including My Fiji and My Bali. Another brand, Group Buying Escape, sources deals for many of the world’s leading group-buying websites.

The retail brands are delivering Ignite Travel Group its strongest growth by catering to an increasing range of demographics.

Surprisingly, Deer reveals his company doesn’t conduct market research. It judges its products on performance in the market.

“The reason we have grown so much is that we are currently challenging the types of offers that are out there and presenting new ones,” says Deer.

“When the types of offers we create hit a nerve, we go very strong on that line of offers and that grows us very quickly.

“We try new things all the time, then home in on the new things that are working, so that helps us continually find the next growth-style travel product we can offer.”

Developing new products is a big part of the fun of doing business for Deer.

“If we think something will work, we will take the risk, put our money behind it and put it on the market,” says Deer, who says it costs up to $20,000 to put a deal to market.

While the hits have been many for Ignite Travel Group, there’s also been a miss or two. My USA was one of them.

“We didn’t get it right in the US and that model has cost us money so far,’’ he says.

“But what we did do is learn. We’ll go back and reload and work out what will work in the US because we know what  didn’t work in the last round.”

Deer expects 200 per cent growth this year as he expands the business to New Zealand and then into the United States.


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