Canberra-based Kirra Services has made an art out of turning small wins into big successes in 2020.
A Supply Nation-certified Indigenous information technology service provider, Kirra Services founder Brad Nagle is a proud Bundjalung man with cultural connections back to Fingal Head (Phillips family), a small township of Tweed Heads on the far north coast of NSW.
The company has government and private sector clients across the country and for much of 2020, Nagle himself ran the company from Arnhem Land, where he and his wife spent much of the COVID lockdown working with Indigenous communities.
The IT procurement and recruitment specialist got its start in 2017 winning some small deals as part of the Commonwealth Government's Indigenous procurement policy. It took that success and has since grown to be one of the largest Supply Nation-certified businesses in the country.
The policy mandates that three percent of all government procurement come from indigenous owned businesses.
“A number of our contracts started out quite small,” Kirra’s founder Brad Nagle told CRN.
Due to hard work and a focus on customer satisfaction, Kirra Services was able to transform a foundation of successful smaller deployments into large customer wins including a recent Department of Education contract to deploy 3,500 Dell laptops, worth $9 million.
Being a new and relatively small business competing against larger integrators has traditionally been seen as a disadvantage, but Nagle sees this as a leg up on the competition.
“Our small size allows us to be quite agile, we're able to turn our quotes over quite quickly in our responses,” Nagle said.
“Federal Government is our primary focus. We've recently started working with a number of large corporates.
The company now boasts a number of enterprise organisations as customers across the mining, insurance and aerospace industries.
“This year we're looking to do quite a bit more work in that space,” Nagle revealed.
“We also have great support from our distributors and our vendors. So this allows us to be quite efficient as we don't have any roadblocks in place,” Nagle said.
“We get a request one day, and we can turn up the quote the same day. So we feel that our efficiency and in our great team is something that sets us apart.”
For Nagle, recruitment is an area that Kirra is looking to make greater progress.
“We're currently working with IT contractors, for a number of the federal and state government departments,” he said.
In 2020, the company’s top performing vendors were Atlassian, Apple, Cisco, Dell, HP and Samsung. Nagle called out distributors Dicker Data, Ingram Micro, Synnex, MIA Distribution, Arrow ANZ, Tech Data and Bluechip Infotech for support throughout the year.
“They [took] a chance on us and we've obviously been able to repay them with some solid revenues,” Nagle explained.
“That's one thing that we're very thankful for is that, we're quite a small business, we're quite new, and the number of the distributors that have taken a big chance, offering credit lines for some of these bigger deals that we've been able to secure, which has definitely been a good step in the right direction.”
After seizing these opportunities with both hands, Nagle and his team attributed the company’s success to the most fundamental differentiator in business, hard work.
“We realised that there are no shortcuts in business,” Nagle said. “The only way to be successful is to put in the hours and work with other businesses.
“We've made a conscious effort to work with other Indigenous businesses, and form partnerships where we can that's been quite beneficial.
Kirra Services also registered a number of large deployments for the Australian Tax Office (ATO), where the company provided a large number of HP laptops and monitors for the agency’s work from home period.
While proud of his Indigenous roots and committed to working with the wider community, Nagle made the point that Supply Nation’s certification was by no means a golden ticket.
“It gives us a foot in the door, but we're not guaranteed any deals,” he said.
“We still have to work extremely hard for our deals, it might be that we get an opportunity that comes to us, but we still have to be competitive. Pricing needs to be very much on point and we need to be able to deliver.”
Working directly with the government departments allows Kirra Services to contribute back to communities, Nagle explained.
“We work with a number of projects where we've committed our time, funding and resources toward a number of community projects.”
One example is Nagle’s recent work with communities in Arnhem land.
“We've worked with the local school, the local art centre, the local clinic,” Nagle explained. There's so many opportunities for us to give back.”