Established in 2017, an independent performance marketing consulting company, Export Accelerator, has been solving global Ecommerce expansion problems for small to mediumsized brands, retailers, and resellers by working both ON and IN their business. Headquartered on the Gold Coast, Australia, the performance marketing company is making a significant difference in the industry with a mission to help businesses do better online under the leadership of Raj de Souza, Founder & CEO of Export Accelerator. He is a passionate marketer with years of experience in client acquisition, digital marketing, and supporting SMEs in expanding their businesses in international markets.
With a dedicated team of experts and innovative professionals in collaboration with cutting-edge technologies, Export Accelerator has been offering an extensive range of services through three distinct lines of businesses – marketing consulting, web and marketing technology and managed services for Amazon. Each of these offerings has a number of sub-offerings that, if required, can be unbundled and provided as needed.
Export Accelerator has a global team of subject matter experts and a loyal customer base that drives this mission. From developing strategic marketing plans aligned to meet the growth projections of the company, implementing marketing platforms to drive a data-driven approach, and managing or executing daily marketing, digital media, or Amazon account management tasks. Export Accelerator supports clients in making smarter decisions to succeed online and in cross-border trade.
Raj’s Inspiring Journey from a DJ to Business Leader
The man behind the idea, Raj de Souza, always intended to be an airline pilot, but his love for music drove him to start his career as a DJ in India in the early 1990s. While he DJ’ed at clubs, and private events, he finished his degree in Accounting.
After two years of working late nights, he changed his career path and earned a diploma in hospitality, for which he received a high distinction and was subsequently hired as a trainee at a five-star hotel. Raj soon realised that’s not what he wanted to do as a career, and he came across an opportunity to join a start-up business process outsourcing organisation where he honed his skills and gained valuable experience in people and culture development. Raj de Souza was promoted to a skills development Coach and started to have a significant impact on the industry.
In 2006, after spending several years training hundreds of employees in the financial services and healthcare sector, he joined a leading global data analytics company. He first held the position of Head of Training & Staffing and, after a few years, was given an opportunity to lead the organization’s marketing strategy and build the Marketing team. He worked on some of the most cutting-edge and exciting projects in his profession while he was there, but more importantly, his experience there planted the seeds of entrepreneurship.
After serving in the position for ten years, Raj de Souza relocated to Australia and accepted the position of Head of Consulting for a Brand agency before being presented with a wonderful opportunity to lead customer experience and marketing for one of Queensland’s major senior trade schools. He was responsible for setting up systems and processes, reporting KPIs, establishing marketing maturity within the team, increasing brand equity throughout the state, and sustaining and supporting the institution’s campus growth as they scaled across Queensland. During this time, he doubled enrolments, expanded from two to five campuses, improved brand recognition, and helped the company adopt a data-driven marketing mindset in order to reposition the college for long-term success.
It led him to be one of the five finalists nominated for the Australian Chief Marketing Officer award by the Australian Marketing Institute. He has always been passionate about business and innovation as a person. He decided that 2017 was the ideal year to launch his own company and have a significant global influence. He chose to establish his own business and with about $2,100 in seed money that he borrowed from his savings launched Export Accelerator.
The Tale of Export Accelerator’s Inception
Export Accelerator was formed after Raj spotted a gap in the market. Back in 2017, there were very few Australian marketing agencies that had the capacity to service SMEs effectively. Most marketing or consulting engagements with several SMEs started for all the right reasons but were not sustainable, on account of high fixed costs that business owners couldn’t absorb over long periods and also owing to agencies finding it hard to deliver within budget or position themselves as a one-stop marketing shop for the SME segment. More importantly, for most SMEs, the need to achieve
aggressive top-line results often seemed to suppress their appetite to experiment with new strategies, channels, or markets. This is where most retained engagements between the two entities would fail – incorrect expectation setting between both.
Raj de Souza decided to take on this challenge with an outlook to approach such partnerships differently. With assistance from a past colleague who joined him, they started Export Accelerator with three clear lines of business, E-commerce Consulting, Marketing & Web Technology, and Marketing Services on Amazon.
Since they had no budget for marketing their own business, Raj used simple and inexpensive marketing tactics to generate awareness and build a pipeline of qualified leads. Two weeks into his entrepreneurial journey, he received his first two clients solely through word-of-mouth advertising: one was for a website rebuild, and the other was a local Gold Coast brand that wanted to grow and launch on Amazon US.
Craving a Distinctive Stance in the Marketing Space
Export Accelerator has created a niche in the existing market to reach unserved or underserved SMEs as a onestop shop to do better online with a more cost-effective version of an existing service that has always been available to this segment but is not easily accessible or viable.
They have positioned themselves as a potential partner to work with across the entire spectrum of marketing services, from advisory and consulting to developing strategy and subsequently executing that strategy in part or its entirety. In essence, this is accomplished by taking three distinct lines of business and combining them as a single service offering that is mutually exclusive but has apparent synergies with each other, where each service informs the other and acts as an extension of a business’s marketing team. More importantly, once a business starts seeing results and trust is established, expansion to newer markets or leveraging Amazon to enter new markets or further boosting awareness becomes a logical extension to their proposition.
How Does the Future Seem for Export Accelerator?
Export Accelerator has lots of exciting projects in the pipeline. One of them that will benefit their clients is a central reporting platform across all disparate channels or campaigns and measuring them across quarterly goals or against the overarching strategy.
Since there are hundreds of off-the-shelf tools that perform similar tasks, the project may appear to be an “old wine in a new bottle.” Nevertheless, the biggest problem they are attempting to solve for SMEs is finding a set of custom reporting tools that are tailored to every client’s marketing activities, integrating with the channels each business wishes to monitor, bringing consistency to the data reporting processes, and then making sense of the data that is presented to each client. In essence, helping businesses decide which levers will give them the biggest-bang-for-buck.
A Piece of Advice from Raj
As a new entrepreneur, you will soon learn that entrepreneurship is a practice rather than an art or a science. As you keep practising, you will eventually realise, that the secret sauce is a combination of careful planning, perseverance, failing fast, seizing opportunities, investing in yourself, and most of all, getting the right amount of sleep. Although, figuratively speaking, If I were to quote Robert Frost, a new entrepreneur does have miles to go (before they sleep).