Photo Credit: Mr. Graham Ross
For Kusaga Athletic co-founders Matt Ashcroft and Graham Ross, the idea of the company originated in China – at the Great Wall Marathon. The company’s value stems from the desire to help mitigate climate change in simple ways. The products – sports apparel for both men and women – use unique plant-based fabrics that have remarkable durability and breathability, while at the same time takes only less water to make.
Graham Ross, Co-Founder and CEO of Kusaga Athletic, spoke at Startup Global Sydney, co-hosted by GIF, at Stone & Chalk during the Spark Festival in Sydney in 2017.
“We started in Singapore. And I’m sure every traditional business plan would not start with a founder in one country and another founder in another country. In fact, my business partner and I have never shared an office together. We’ve lived overseas – we’ve lived in the cloud – we live with global markets. I’ve been back in Australia the last couple of years, but all of our business is done overseas. I’m trying to excite a bit of manufacturing here, so that is in the pipeline,” Ross shared.
As a company with the global mindset, Kusaga knows the value of technology and adopts various tools to help them grow globally. The company uses Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram as main channels to connect with customers. “From a retail perspective, we have a Shopify store. It’s really simple, it’s solid and there are more and more apps coming online. Importantly, there’s access from any currency coming in,” said Ross, adding that “A lot of our customers use PayPal. It’s trusted in the marketplace. When you’re at that point where you’ve got them to the checkout – and people do still drop off – if they can choose PayPal, especially if they’re looking at where it’s being shipped from – that converts for us.” In addition to Paypal, Kusaga partner with other payment tools including Visa, Mastercard, zipMoney to instill trust into the brand and better serve customers.
Besides, because of the global nature, Kusaga has to deal with accounting laws in different countries, and chooses to use Intuit to help them ease accounting management. “We’re [an Intuit Customer]… We have an office here in Australia, one in Singapore and one in London. From an accounting point of view with it all lives in the cloud and it all kind of talks to itself and makes sense. We’re about trying to make really cool clothing – not count numbers – so the quicker I can do that the better.” Ross shared.