Mid-sized businesses – a recommendation to drive growth

| August 28, 2017

By definition mid sized enterprises have already established a viable business and helping them to grow more quickly is a far lower “risk” than finding new start-ups and likely to lead to real returns on any investment by government.

Within mid-sized enterprises there are businesses covering virtually every business sector. There is a need to focus some effort onto those segments that offer the best opportunities for future growth.  Picking winners in business is not a task that government (or most businesses) have been good at BUT I believe governments wishing to invest in supporting growth of mid-size enterprises must at least focus on segments offering the maximum potential for future growth.

One sector that has continued to outpace the growth of business in general is in wireless technology. Since the first mobile phones were sold over 20 years ago this sector has grown year on year.  No growth lasts forever but there is more room for growth with the explosion of IoT/M2M and the start of a new 5G cellular revolution due to hit the market in 3-5 years.

While Australia has a great wireless industry with countless mid-size enterprises in this sector, increasing the focus on helping companies to succeed locally and internationally could provide massive benefits to Australia.   Examples of companies that have managed to grow already that show the type of opportunity that exists:

Silicon Controls designs and sells a wireless gas tank monitoring solution globally, allowing the gas supplier to monitor and refill tanks in the most efficient way, while still keeping their customers operating.   They sell tens of thousands of these across the world with key markets in US and Europe, as well as locally

Blix has developed smart software to detect and monitor phone users (using WiFi and Bluetooth signals) that is used in areas such as retail store planning and crowd counting, and is a world leader in this space

Thinxtra is building a new cellular network for IoT in Australia and NZ using the Sigfox standard, and is expanding into other markets in the region

Helping other companies in this sector to grow locally and expand internationally must be a focus of any government involvement to support growth of mid-size enterprises.