The next generation of Australian business leaders are creating competitive companies that bridge market gaps and exceed consumer demands. Young entrepreneurs were recognised for their achievements and business contributions at the Young Hero Awards; an awards program dedicated to celebrating business leaders under thirty-five years old, presented by Commonwealth Bank. SBC’s editor, Alyssa Herr, and one of the Young Hero Awards judges sat down with each award winner to discover how these young entrepreneurs are shaping the future of Australia’s business landscape.
Christie Ding, Co-Founder, Brand Catalyser
Hometown: Kunming, China
Company HQ: Melbourne, VIC
Year company was founded: 2017
Award: Best Marketing
Describe your business in one sentence:
Brand Catalyser is a top-rated cross-border & cross-cultural marketing & consulting firm that provides industry-leading go-to-market strategy and ongoing marketing executions that adapt to the local market landscape and overcome language, cultural and behavioural barriers.
What does winning the “Best Marketing” award mean to you:
It was absolutely an honour to receive this award that not only made me feel very proud, but also induced me to look back and reflect on my way to this day, to understand what brings me to where I am at and what I should continue doing/not doing.
I feel honoured and grateful for such recognition of the work I have done so far by the industry leaders, it means a lot and gives a lot. It gives inspiration to continue doing what I am doing, it gives confirmation that if you are doing something wholeheartedly and are open to everything new, you will definitely be rewarded one day.
What’s next for your company’s future plans:
To be the cross-border and cultural expert in South-East Asian markets. Over the last two years, we have expanded our market offerings from China to Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and we are in the progress of exploring and building up our go-to-market solutions for Thailand, Indonesia, the Philiphines.
We are aiming to provide comprehensive go-to-market solutions to China and South-East Asian Markets for any brands who are ready for it.
What’s the most critical leadership skill you’ve learned:
Try not to be their boss! Over the years of working and managing the team at Brand Catalyser, I realised the old-school leadership style is no longer practical, especially in our company where the average age of staff is 26, but to me, the new era of leadership style gives support and care to its people as much as possible. In short, I think the most critical leadership skill I’ve learned is ‘try not to be the boss’.
As the leader of a business, I believe one should stand beside their team, giving guidance, support and inspiration. Bring them with you on the journey to imagine the future of the business, to think outside of the box, to enable them to achieve the “mission impossible”, to empower them to be whoever they want to be. It’s like fighting a war, the leader always gives an inspirational speech to stir hearts and raise morale before a fierce battle.
Regardless of what sort of business you are in, the most valuable asset of a company is people, especially in service-based companies like Brand Catalyser, people mean everything.
Proudest business moment:
On both a personal and company level, I feel strongly that we have achieved beyond our expectations, and industry recognition is the best award to motivate us to keep pushing further.
On a company level, since BC started in 2017, we have grown from 3 to 30 employees in less than five years, and our client portfolio has also grown from 5 to 150+ including many premium brands.
The proudest business moment is when we received the industry recognition of the “Best Marketing” under the Yong Hero Award by Australian Business Forum (ABF) SmallBiz Week!
The Young Hero Awards was hosted at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on May 17 and presented by Commonwealth Bank and sponsored by Optus, Coinspot, Blackmagic Design and Small Business Connections media.