Why Australia has the Right Mix for Growth — Sendle

Published on
November 3, 2022
Ian Bell
Chief Innovation Officer, Partner
Subscribe to our
By subscribing you agree to with our Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Going head to head with the well-established Australia Post was a massive undertaking that Sendle — Australia’s first carbon-neutral delivery company — took on willingly.

The “David and Goliath” trope is prevalent in the business world, with Goliath taking the lead almost each time. But, in this case, David succeeded.

“It’s about levelling the playing field, “ starts Sendle CEO James Chin Moody. “How does a small business actually start to compete with big businesses? Well, unite and bring together their tools, because big businesses have had them for so long.”

It was their drive to help give small businesses a competitive edge over their larger adversaries (while creating the most positive impact on the environment) that truly blazed their trail toward success.

When they opened their doors in 2014, Sendle was in direct competition with the Australia Post. “Australians have a lot of choices with many things. You have Telstra and Optus, Virgin and Qantas, you can choose between banks. But, really, if you’re a small business, there’s a functional monopoly in place with Australia Post.”

This created a healthy rivalry, resulting in Sendle now facilitating over a quarter of a billion dollars worth of small business in Australia and enjoying a growth of around 15% per month.

How did Sendle do it? Here are 4 reasons.

1) They welcomed the presence of healthy competition

Initially, Sendle positioned themselves to “aggressively compete with” rather than “disrupt” Australia Post. However, they learned that you cannot compete without disrupting.

For many small businesses, competing with big businesses is a given. One of the key areas where large enterprises take the lead is logistics.

Moody notes, “We don’t think that it costs Harvey Norman $45 to send a parcel from Sydney to Perth, so why should small businesses have to pay that amount?”

Healthy competition makes for better economies. And Australia, as a country, has always welcomed it. The Australian government recognises that competition provides better services for customers and it also gives small businesses a fighting chance.

And it is because of this fact that Sendle was empowered to pursue their goals in truly supporting their target market.

“We level the playing field between small business and big business, we also level the playing field across Australia because it’s the same price to send a parcel from Perth to Sydney as it is from Melbourne to Sydney or from Armadale to Sydney… That’s very important as well and very much part of our ethos around being a business that actually really cares about this segment of the market.”

2) They are on a never-ending quest to achieve their purpose

Sendle’s CEO believes that everyone in Australia is cultivating a better understanding of businesses in general. Modern markets can tell when a company is not being authentic.

And this is where Sendle takes the lead.

“I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve been involved in a lot of purpose-led things for a lot of my life. I was involved with the United Nations environment program and I used to work for the CSRIO (the purpose of which is to build Australia’s innovation systems),” says Moody.

“For me, I didn’t want to be part of a business that didn’t have a purpose, to have a positive environmental and social impact on society. That’s the reason why we talk a lot about what our purpose is — we’re helping small businesses thrive.”

Sendle takes pride in adding diversity into a highly monopolised industry. As the only 100% carbon neutral delivery service in Australia, they are not just creating a positive impact on the world as they send out parcels, they are also taking care of small businesses — the life-blood of the Australian economy.

3) They use innovation to bolster the work of others

Sendle decided from the beginning that they can either be “80% good to everybody or 100% good to the people that they want to serve.”

“A friend of mine once said to me, ‘If you try to chase two rabbits, you don’t catch either,’” Moody recalls. They started looking at areas where they fall short, including how they could reach their customers more efficiently and how they are going to streamline marketing monitoring and tracking.

Once they addressed these setbacks, they were truly on their way to fulfilling their purpose.

4) They do not take themselves too seriously

True to Australian fashion, Sendle maintains a youthful and cheeky attitude when it comes to their marketing efforts.

One undertaking that truly stands out is their tagline: Post without the office. Moody says, “It’s a good way to differentiate from Australia Post. It was designed to say, ‘we can send parcels anywhere you need to, but you don’t have to deal with the complexity or line up at the post office.’”

There could not have been a better tagline that better describes Sendle as a company — it is authentic and true to who they are as a brand. And their markets agree.

In many ways, Sendle’s Australian “upbringing” allowed them to truly stand out. By embracing healthy competition, a strong purpose, and a true-blue Aussie authenticity and sass, they were able to break the glass ceiling and disrupt a lagging monopoly.

This article is the eighth and last instalment to our “Why Australia has the Right Mix for Business Growth” series, where we explore the uniquely Australian influences that contributed to the success of Sendle and other global scale-ups like 99 Designs, Prospa, AfterPay, Atlassian, Canva, The Iconic, and Envirosuite.
Read all the other parts of the series by checking out our blog.