On 11 November 2018, Alibaba’s 10th annual Singles Day generated an impressive record, generating more than $30.8 billion in sales during the 24-hour shopping event.
Included in this event were many Australian businesses including a comparatively small company from the Sydney suburb of Bella Vista. With only 15 employees they achieved sales of a massive $2.5 million during the 24 hour event.
Du’it is the registered brand of Orbis (Australasia) Pty Ltd which was formed by the husband and wife team of Zina Richter and Pynith Char in 1998 to create a range of innovative skin care products. Their vision is simple:
“We believe that health and wellbeing is the foundation of our happiness. It underpins everything”.
Zina’s was working in a hospital where many of the patients suffered from dry cracked skin on their heels and foot skin. So, with Pynith they decided to find a solution. Zina asked her friend to formulate a treatment cream that would not only help people with dry skin problems but also assist people with Diabetes.
They started the business in their garage where they spent the first five years packing boxes, calling on retail stores, doing face-to-face promotions and then celebrating every sale, irrespective of the size.
As with most start-up, cash flow and funding was in short supply. They engaged the grants specialists, Pattens Group Pty Ltd, who were able to successfully identify and claim a range of government grants to help fund their development.
Pattens Group provided there services for a success fee. They have over 30 years’ experience successfully claiming over $1billion from a vast range of grants with a 99% success rate. It was a partnership which made a valuable difference.
The many long years of research and development, working with pharmacists and specialists were supported by funds from the R&D Tax Incentive scheme.
The R&D Tax Incentive provided a tax free reimbursement 43.5% of eligible funds spend on approved projects. In the Du’it claims resulted in over $350,000 being provided to fund their product development.
Finally they developed a winning product which they “experimented” on their family and friends. They were so thrilled with the results, receiving nothing but positive feedback. The product became DU’IT Feet & Hand Balm, the first in their range.
While the Australian market provided initial sales, their focus was the huge Chinese market. With financial support from the Export Marketing Development Grant (EMDG) they were able to visit prospective distributors and customers in China. provide samples, attend trade shows and provide marketing material including a dedicated China website.
The EMDG provides reimbursement of overseas marketing costs even prior to achieving the first sale. The scheme is capped at a maximum grant of $150,000 per claim and 7 claims. A threshold of $5,000 is deducted from eligible expenses.
Since entering the Chinese market six years ago, Du’It has grown by 900 per cent, requiring a new factory to cope with the demand. Last year Du’It sold more than 1.5 million tubes of its Tough Hands in China, or one tube every 20 seconds.
Having unique products that really work, are Australian owned and made with high standards and quality active ingredients has made the company a success in China.
In China Du’it is known as the dry skin specialists. For heel balm they are ranked number one on Alibaba, in the hand care category they are just a couple of thousand units off the number one spot behind a Chinese domestic brand.
Today the DU’IT products are available in Australia in all the leading pharmacies including Chemist Warehouse and Priceline, and in the grocery chains Woolworths and Coles.
Their products are also available internationally in USA, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey, Middle East, Hong Kong and China. Ranked as the top hand care and foot care brand in China, DU’IT has a solid presence on all the major platforms.
The dynamic duo of Pynith and Zina are still working in the business with their children and a dedicated professional team. They are still involved with the ongoing product development to innovative new innovative skincare products.
For more information contact Bruce Patten from Pattens Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 1800 PATTENS
Written by Bruce Patten: With more than 30 years’ experience claiming government grants, Bruce is regarded as the grants expert. He has a passion for helping new business get off the ground and has a long list of successful clients who have received the government funding they needed for research, development, management, commercialisation, exportation, small business support… and the list goes on.