Young Entrepreneurs 2010: Ruben Alker

Written on the 3 December 2010

Young Entrepreneurs 2010: Ruben Alker

Despite founding his telco business amid tumultuous economic conditions, HIP Communications director Ruben Alker says ‘the timing was better than ever’.

Frustrated with the lack of service values within large companies, Alker moved from his regional general manager role with Telstra straight into the COO position with ill-fated Varsity Lakes telco Silver Telecom.

“Silver Telecom was my foray back into small business but unfortunately it went into liquidation in 2008,” says Alker.

“Two and a half years ago, 23 of us got made redundant on the same day in Varsity Lakes and I thought ‘well there is no better time’, so I started up HIP.

“I’m passionate about business on the Gold Coast and the telco industry, and I don’t think we have enough of it.”

Launched using $50,000 of personal savings in August 2008, HIP Communications has partnered with brands including Cisco and Vodaphone and is now on track to triple its revenues for FY11.

“We’re really focusing on an integrated approach for businesses – a one-stop-shop for all your needs and making sure everything is working together,” says Alker.

“Our catchphrase is ‘making technology work’ – it’s about educating businesses to make sure they’re getting the most out of their investment in technology. We need to be at the forefront of what’s new and great and we need to be focused on making sure that our customers are getting the benefits.”

Ongoing challenges for HIP Communications include gaining access to cutting edge technology with limited capital backing and convincing companies to invest in new products. But Alker remains confident that a renewed sense of business confidence and a desire to reinvest in business infrastructure is driving demand for new phone systems.

Going from a senior Telstra executive role to SME owner brings about a culture shock and Alker admits he’s learnt some ‘tough lessons’ over the last two years.

“Coming from Telstra where I had two PAs, a finance manager, HR manager and business operations manager – I had this massive support base around me and went from that to not having anybody,” he says.

“I made decisions in my first year that were probably pretty stupid, but I’ve learned that you just can’t do all these things by yourself.

“It’s been the toughest two years of my life as far as stress and pressure. Running 1200 staff at Telstra is a breeze to what I’m doing now.

“But I wouldn’t change it. The lessons I’ve learnt over the last two years, I just can’t see how I could have learnt them in any other environment.”

Ruben Alker
HIP Communications
TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Age: 38
Business Est: 2008
Number of staff: 4
Growth: 200 per cent
Turnover: $250,000


Latest News

FORMER MFS EXECUTIVES HIT WITH DISQUALIFICATIONS AND MASSIVE FINES FOR MISAPPROPRIATING FUNDS

FIVE key players involved in an investment company that collapsed in 2008 owing $2.5 billion have been ordered to ...

SURFSTITCH BATTLING FOR SURVIVAL

QUEENSLAND based online retailer SurfStitch Group has gone into a voluntary trading halt for three months after it wa...

STARTUP SUCCESS BOILS DOWN TO PERSONALITY, SAYS EXPERT

THOSE who own startups will know that there are many essential qualities of a good entrepreneur; their tenacity, fina...

THE AMBITIOUS PLAN TO TURN A COLLAPSED FRANCHISE INTO AN EXPANDING BUSINESS

AUSTRALIA'S newest master franchise is set to launch in October as a commercial cleaning operation, resurrecte...

Related News

STARTUP SUCCESS BOILS DOWN TO PERSONALITY, SAYS EXPERT

THOSE who own startups will know that there are many essential qualities of a good entrepreneur; their tenacity, fina...

SLATER AND GORDON TAKES SPOTLESS TO COURT

SPOTLESS Group (ASX: SPO) has been hit by a class action launched by Slater and Gordon (ASX: SGH) in the Federal C...

TOPSHOP GOES INTO ADMINISTRATION AMID VOLATILE RETAIL MARKET

TOPSHOP has become the latest in a string of retailers blasted by the volatile retail market, as the iconic fashio...

SIGMA'S SHARE PRICE TAKES A BATTERING AS IT LAUNCHES LEGAL ACTION OVER SUPPLY DEAL

SIGMA Healthcare (ASX: SIG) has taken the MyChemist and Chemist Warehouse chains to court to demand they continue to ...

BOOK YOUR FUNCTION SPACE HERE

 

 

 

Contact us

Email News Update Sign Up Contact Details
Subscriptions

PO Box 2087
Brisbane QLD 4001

LoginTell a FriendSign Up to Newsletter