Multimedia's punt hits the jackpot

Videoconferencing for the home and DVD drives will be the next hot technologies for Australia, according to Brent Crooks, director and marketing manager of Melbourne-based Multimedia Technology.

With nearly 4000 per cent growth over the last five years, Multimedia was second only to a franchise courier company registering 14,000 per cent growth, in the recently released Business Review Weekly top 100 list of the fastest growing private companies.

Some pundits might say Multimedia's success has been based on luck, but picking winners is the company's forte.

In 1991, Brent Crooks and his partner got together and decided to distribute multimedia in Australia.

At the time, there was little competition outside of the retail sphere, and products such as CD-ROM, for instance, were still the sleeping giant with Multimedia one of a handfull of companies aware of its potential.

"There was little competition then," Crooks said.

The company is now growing too fast for its existing infrastructure to handle and is trying to arrest its own development.

Multimedia currently represents the likes of Panasonic, Sony, Pioneer, and Microsoft and CD-ROM was one technology bet that paid huge dividends. By 1993, software developers began writing for CD and "the rest is history", Crooks said.

This year the company is expecting to turnover more than $24 million.

The company distributes to all segments of the market, including corporate resellers, retail, and systems integrators. But "focus" is the company's motto.

One of the key reasons for the company's success, according to Crooks, has been the its commitment to a "narrow band" of multimedia products. This strategy paid off when CD-ROM went berserk.

* See next week's issue of ARN for details on APT, another rising star