How startup Strata Alert became one of Westpac's Businesses of Tomorrow
Peter Mansour still remembers opening his first account with Westpac. Now he's studying at Melbourne Business School thanks to becoming a finalist in the 2018 Businesses of Tomorrow program.
"I've banked with Westpac my whole life," says Peter, who founded building management app Strata Alert to solve common frustrations in buildings that operate under strata titles.
"When I saw the application was available on social media, I clicked on it and was probably the only person who read everything – even the terms and conditions, given my background in finance and always looking at the details.
"I realised it would be an amazing opportunity, and I felt that the worst they could do was say no. I was more afraid of not applying than failing."
The Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow program is designed to reward and recognise companies with the drive to shape Australia's future. Finalists were awarded a place on a program Melbourne Business School co-created with Westpac, called Take on Tomorrow, which has seen more than 180 business leaders hear from experts such as Bernard Salt and Mark Ritson since September.
Peter says the program is an extraordinary opportunity to expand his business network and connect with peers.
"The program is incredible in showing all of us what we should be doing as we start our journeys. It's really forward thinking, and the facilitators have been inspiring and from the top of their industry," he says.
Peter's big take-away from the program is its emphasis on the power of brand and the need to build trust with customers.
"Many facilitators have said you should treat your customers as members of a tribe and create a community with them, which is what Strata Alert is doing by empowering tenants to solve issue that impact everyone."
Strata Alert allows tenants to report issues to building managers through an app that creates a ticket. If someone has already created a ticket, you can like it to show your support.
Peter's first client is the manager of his own building, which looks after about 40 other buildings and some 7000 tenants. He next plans to roll out Strata Alert to other office buildings and eventually apartment blocks.
"Strata managers tell me that's where we'll get the biggest traction. With the advent of Airbnb, people always coming and going in and out of residential buildings, and parties every week, there's always something to complain about," he says.
"Strata Alert is going to make life for tenants and manager much easier."
Peter is also convinced Strata Alert has wider potential for use in warehouse complexes, shopping centres, airports and anywhere people live and work in large numbers.
"The biggest lesson I've learned from this whole experience is that ideas can become reality, and sometimes the simplest things are the most successful. It's important to pursue your dreams," he says.
The final 2018 cohort of Westpac's Businesses of Tomorrow program will complete their studies at Melbourne Business School this week.
To find out more about creating a customised leadership development program with Melbourne Business School, visit our Executive Education page.