Exceptional Magazine : 2015 Exceptional Magazine
9 Exceptional Australia 2015 Services category Q How did the idea for Pepperstone come about? Owen: Joe and I met through a mutual friend. We were both interested in foreign exchange trading. At the time, Joe was a foreign exchange broker and I was a trader. We looked at the foreign exchange landscape and had some ideas on how we could create a better broker experience through automation and technology. So that’s really how the idea for Pepperstone came about. Joe: We looked at the market of online foreign exchange and realised that there was a lot of cost involved and it wasn’t really accessible to the average person. We saw that as an opportunity. So we developed a product, brought it to market and it’s been very successful. Q When did you first consider yourselves to be entrepreneurs? Owen: We have both always considered ourselves entrepreneurs. While I was at school, I traded basketball cards. They were all valued in US dollars and I used to be the only one who could work out the AU equivalent. Everyone came to me and I took a commission from each of the ‘valuations’ I did. Joe: From a young age, I used to sell sweets on the side of the road, and I always knew that I never wanted to take the ‘normal’ road of going to school, university and then getting a job working for someone else. I always wanted to get into business. I just needed to find a market to sell products to. Q What inspired you to become entrepreneurs? Joe: I believe that the spirit of entrepreneurism is being opportunistic and identifying new ways to sell products and build businesses. So that was my inspiration — seeking out those opportunities and then creating a business around them. Owen: I wanted to create something and experience that entrepreneurial journey with the challenge of building something from the ground up. Entrepreneurship carries the definition of having a vision of opportunity and doing something about it rather than talking about it. It’s all about the execution of a dream or idea. You need to have done something. the industry Spicing up Q What do you think has been the key to your success? Joe: I think the key to our success has been a lot of hard work, drive, focus and not being afraid to make mistakes. We have made some mistakes along the way, but you have to just try and try again. That’s a big part of being an entrepreneur. Owen: It hasn’t always been easy. We have faced quite a few obstacles but, through sheer hard work, we were able to overcome those obstacles, and I think that’s ultimately what drives success. Q How did you expand Pepperstone globally? Joe: The vision and goal of the company was always to be a global forex broker. When we first started, our client base was in Australia. However, in June 2011, we accepted our first Japanese retail client. Shortly thereafter we had a large influx of Asian clients, which saw our customer numbers reach 2,000 and our monthly trading revenue reach US$1 million. From that point, we have continued to grow in many geographies. Owen: Word of mouth, social media momentum from customers, blog site reviews from customers and careful targeted advertising, as well as involvement in industry forums and publications, has helped underpin the international growth achieved to date. Q Your business is only four years old. How have you managed to balance your exponential growth with the need for operational capabilities? Joe: We have always recognised the need to establish a balance between growth and operational capabilities, and we have addressed this need by developing an innovative one-click trading technology, increasing IT server numbers and introducing a client self-service system. I think being innovative, listening to our clients and providing excellent service has been a key factor in our successful growth.
2016 Exceptional Magazine
2014 Exceptional Magazine