Q 1. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
Ans: Platinum Labs was created after the determination that there was a huge gap in the Australian supplement industry. Almost no Australian supplement brands existed and those that did were not taken seriously and did not compete with the US brands on any level.
Managing Director, and CEO – Terry Katz, believed that if he created the products in the US, utilizing the wide range of ingredients available as well as the processes, flavouring systems and mixing capabilities but stayed focused on the Australian market and made products with the goal of being the market leader in Australia he could take the position as the best supplement brand in the local Australian market.
Platinum Labs first product ‘Optiburn’, a nootropically enhanced fatburner and thermogenic, was released early 2013 and quickly rose to unexpected heights. This was shortly followed up with the release of their second product, Defcon1.
Defcon1 became an overnight success, quickly rising as Australia’s highest selling and most talked about fitness product. This caused the US market to take an interest and soon orders were being placed. Platinum Labs began manufacturing product for sale and distribution in America, Canada, Ireland, the UK, New Zealand and Russia.
‘I believe the success of the brand is twofold, the products gain a massive amount of hype with thousands of people posting (on social media) about the products all over the world. The products themselves are designed to such a high standard, using both tried and tested ingredients but also utilizing cutting edge and newly discovered compounds that deliver a complete solution to the customer.’ Terry Katz, CEO
The brand is designed to showcase the very best, from packaging, to ingredients, to flavouring system, to merchandise – if you buy Platinum Labs, you are buying the very best.
It wasn’t until the second year in businesss, after achieving great success in Australia and New Zealand, that global interest followed. We had never intended to compete outside of Australia as it is such a cut throat industry. But our ‘full transparency’ policy gained us a lot of traction and it was soon realized that our presence was needed in the USA. In 12 months we went from being stocked in 2 countries, to 14 countries. Global interest grows every day and we are continually pushing ourselves and releasing new products. For a company that is only 3 years old, a lot has been achieved in a very small amount of time. We compete with companies in the industry who have been around for 10 years and industry leaders.
The current Australian & New Zealand operations are run out of a 660sqm warehouse in O’Connor, Western Australia and the Global operations are run from a laboratory & office in New York’s financial district.
Q 2. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Ans: Arna is the founder of IMARI Consulting and brings innovative business and planning processes to her clients and their companies. Arna’s business activities focus on work with entrepreneurs and business owners with a honed eye for market innovation and strategic planning. She has 15 years of international experience in consulting, and senior business management in business-to-business, consumer, and government contracting businesses.
Arna spent several years as General Manager overseeing a global data security corporation that predominantly serviced the mining and resources industry, specialising in exploration & seismic data. In this role, Arna led a diverse international team that established profitable growth positions in new industrial and geographic markets.
Early in 2010, Arna facilitated a project to consolidate, catalogue and remaster the ageing and at risk seismic data holding of one of the largest oil and gas exploration organisations in the Southern Asian region. The project was India’s largest data preservation & migration project ever undertaken and heralded several world firsts in the Data Management & Security Industry. Over 18 months her team built a cutting edge data centre on site at the clients compound in Mumbai. They filled over 110,000 IBM Worm 3592 cartridges to transcribe several petabytes of seismic and Meta data. The use of IBM Worm Media on this project used more than 10 times the media than had ever been consumed on a global basis.
Other notable projects Arna has been involved in were the NASA/UWA Apollo 11 & 12 Sticky Moon Dust Data Preservation & Recovery Project, BHP Singapore Project One Earth, National Australia Bank Data On Call migration and several data restoration projects of national significance.
As Executive Vice President of Platinum Labs, Arna Jade is integral for ensuring optimal daily performance of company facilities in order to satisfy consumer demand, and achieve targets. Intimately involved in the day-to-day production and operations of the company, her astute and experienced influence upon corporate governance and strategic decisions directly maximises efficiency, market position and financial results.
Arna’s extensive strategic experience allows her to develop, present and implement operational plans tailored to propel the company. Her intricate understanding of the financial workings of corporate structures position her to formulate budgets targeted to achieve agreed growth strategies, and meet the requirements of her extensive business plans.
Cognisant of the necessity for top-down transparency, Arna works to construct and manage systems of communication, both internally and abroad. She maintains an intimate understanding of Platinum Lab’s competition, builds support channels with friendly market forces, and implements actions to support both domestic dominance and aggressive expansion into the global market.
Responsible for building a highly functional team of employees to carry out the company’s vision, Arna’s natural affinity for leadership equips her to inspire her team with ease. No stranger to creating a strong working culture, her eagerness to coach, counsel and empower each individual to seek excellence drives Platinum Labs to truly be phenomenal.
What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
My involvement in Platinum Labs was initially as a consultant, working with them for a year we saw significant changes and improvements to the business and its model and more importantly, I loved the products. I had always been skeptical of supplements in the past, so trying the products I feel in love. When they offered me the opportunity to join as a part owner and move with the business to the states to setup the business HQ I jumped at the opportunity to be part of a company that is truly life changing for its consumers.
Q 3. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans: Get help. Get a consultant or a mentor, and ASK EVERY question. The biggest mistake I saw business owners make was that they thought they knew best, when often, there is always someone out there that knows better than you, USE THEIR SKILLS.
READ. Consistently look at improving your game in your chosen field. No matter what you do, chances are someone has done it before you, and learning from others successes/mistakes can be the ‘work smarter, not harder’ ethos a lot of people want to implement. A lot of great entrepreneurs have written books, you’ll take 1-2 key pieces of useful info from each. Rockerfeller habits is a personal favorite of mine.
Find your productivity method. For some it’s working in blocks of 90 minutes, for others its taking naps when needed so they don’t get tired in the afternoon and burn out, for some its doing all the things they like to do in the morning and doing more strategic tasks at night. Don’t follow a method if it doesn’t work for you, try a few and pick one that works, but find it fast.
Q 4. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Unrelenting passion. You really have to want to make a change in the world / your industry and this is not often easy. Disrupting entire industries is no easy feat.
Delegation. You have to learn real quick your limits and how to pass along tasks that are not the best use of your time
Positive Attitude. Not really a skill, but it sure does help. I’ve seen tyrants try and motivate staff to no avail, only to have someone else walk in and change the entire energy in a room and get a much better result. Positivity begets positivity.
Q 5. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: God it really depends, I learned balance but I still find myself naturally coming up with ideas that I cant leave alone. It varies between 6-10 hours per day, and I only work on weekends now when I have a big project coming up, or am developing new ideas and concepts. If you work too much, you burn out. But don’t get me wrong, I’ve done 15 hour days for years, but they weren’t the best use of my time, I learned that the hard way!
Q 6. To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans: Without a doubt my problem solving skills and ability to make decisions very quickly. I also own every decision I make. I also back my staff 100%, I nurture them, I love them like they were my children and treat them so, so I have built a mutual respect that means I have a team of people who are VERY loyal, you are nothing without a strong team.
Q 7. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ans: Word of mouth by social media. When the company first started we gave out lots of free samples and people then posted on social media which created more buzz. We have tried to replicate this with ambassadors, but there is nothing more honest than a real person loving the product and proudly telling everyone we are taking them. The #platinumlabs has over 6000 posts on Instagram, that’s pretty good marketing.
Q 8. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Ans: We had 2 investors in the business. Both own their own companies back in Australia. We would love to get an American investor who knows the market, but we haven’t actively pursued this. Both parties were introduced to the business through mutual acquaintances who had heard good reviews about the product and wanted to get in on the success early before the company experienced peak growth.
Q 9. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans: Plan. Have a plan, doesn’t have to be 100 page strategic plan, but something that gives you a general guide as to what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it.
Measure. Have targets and track to them, when you don’t achieve them, review and adjust as necessary.
Listen. To your customers and to your staff. They are the ones working with your customers and using your service / product. If you industry demands change, then CHANGE! Do not be head strong or stuck in old school thinking. Actively encourage feedback in all areas of your business.
Q 10. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans: The business, well I am going to launch a Platinum Labs not for profit working with the homeless, can’t say much more than that right now, but that’s my shortterm goal. Long term, I believe we will be one of the leading brands globally in nutritional supplements. People are sick of the old school ‘prop blend’ mentality and our full transparency approach has gained a lot of support from consumers.
Me personally? I would like to think in 5 years time I can take an inactive role in the business having trained a team of superb managers to resume a lot of what I do, I would like have my own venture capital / incubator setup, and I want to volunteer in Tanzania teaching women micro finance so they can start their own businesses.
Q 11. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ans: Not a business so to speak, but I really can’t look past Elon Musk. He is the right mix of creative, crazy, innovative, just everything. Major respect goes to that man.
Q 12. How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans: Paramount. Your employees ARE your business. They are the face of your company. It’s spirit.
Q 13. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans: I have a side project I have been working on for over 10 years, so never. Haha. No in all seriousness, I used to work for a patent and trade mark attorney firm, so you see inventors come in with ideas that are already obsolete and done, but they hold on to them. That’s not smart. You have to constantly evaluate your market. If someone beat you to the punch, it may be worth abandoning, but you have to look at your point of difference, it could still be salvageable. Some ideas take a long time to bring together, giving up should only be if you really know you exhausted all opportunities. If your idea is stuck because you can’t raise capital, pay someone to pitch on your behalf. Only give up if your market isn’t there and you can’t create the market.
Q 14. What motivates you?
Ans: Life. Is that corny? Changing the world. I suppose that is corny too? Every business I have started or bought into, has been about improving lives. Platinum Labs is about showing people that supplements can have real, tangible life changing results. I come to my desk every morning to find emails from consumers, completely unsolicited, saying how they lost 60lbs using Optiburn, how they re-discovered the joy of living. How can that not motivate you? It’s like a drug, it makes you want to find new ways to improve the quality of peoples lives and more importantly their health.
Q 15. What are your ideals?
Ans: Strive for continuous self-improvement
Find a better way of doing everything (this is literally plastered above my desk)
Q 16. How do you generate new ideas?
Ans: I don’t know generate is the right word. Ideas just come to you. Any time I have sat and tried to conjure up a new idea, I draw a blank. It’s when I am relaxed and often in a new environment (which is why I love and encourage travel so much) I find ideas just flow in. The important thing is to write them down. My notes on my iphone is full of them. Finding time to act on them is the real challenge!
Q 17. How do you define success?
Ans: If you have engaged, content staff; happy, returning customers; you’re experiencing balance in your own life and you feel positive energy around you, that is my definition of success.
Q 18. How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans: Love your customers. Don’t try and service too many or they drop off and find someone who cares about them more. Sometimes I step in and help with customer enquiries to stay in touch with what is happening in the barracks, and people can’t believe the Exec VP is helping them resolve their issue. They feel important, and that is what we want. Word of mouth that is translated into reviews and testimonials online go a long way.
Q 19. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans: Choosing my own hours is definitely a plus. I am naturally a night owl, so being able to work until 4am and then sleeping in and not reporting to someone will never get old. But moreso, the ability to provide improvements to the lives of others in some manner, through companies like Platinum Labs, are really where I get my satisfaction.
Q 20. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans: That was a few years back, being seen as an industry leader and asked to participate in a forum about disrupting industries I was honored to be invited, and then I was asked to be the key-note speaker and was blown away, to have my achievements honored in that way was very exciting. Also winning the Australian 30 under 30 entrepreneur of the year in 2014 was pretty neat.
Q 21. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ans: Entrepreneurs make change. They challenge things. They are like the engineers of the business world, looking for flaws and gaps to fill. They are dynamic and listen to what the world wants and needs, and more importantly they develop what people don’t even know they need yet.
Q 22. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Ans: It’s a very open door policy when it comes to what’s happening, who is working on what, any issues. We promote education and training. We are flexible with hours – we are more about getting the job done. We make it fun, both myself and Terry the CEO aren’t afraid to be ourselves around our staff. We have been known to have dance breaks and bring nerf guns into the office.
Q 23. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Q 24. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Ans: Fail faster. I had a few early stage businesses that pride made me hold on to when in my heart I knew they were dead. I should have killed them and moved to the next project quicker. Off the back of that comment, I would also trust my instincts. It’s easy as an entrepreneur to doubt yourself, you are forging new paths, so the advice you get from others can often be wrong, in every circumstance where I went against my gut instinct, the outcome wasn’t as good as it could have been had I trusted myself.
Q 25. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Ans: If anything its been positive. When I worked ‘for the man’ I worked long hours trying to climb the good old corporate ladder. Don’t get me wrong, that was in part paramount to my overall success now, but when I became an entrepreneur I was able to get the time flexibility to spend more time with family when it counted.
Q 26. What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Ans: Spiders. No really. When it comes to the company, theres not much that scares me anymore. It used to! Being able to take care of our staff, being able to spend enough time with family and friends, but I learned how to mitigate all the potential problems, and taught myself that no matter what happens it’s never something I can’t handle. So unless it’s going to physically kill me (I am from Australia, spiders there are SERIOUS BUSINESS) it won’t generate a fear response from me.
Q 27. How did you decide on the location for your business?
Ans: We started in Florida purely out of convenience for our local team member who set it up while we were still in Australia. We spent the better part of a year there and realized logistically NYC was a much better location. NYC is also one of those places where you never know who you will meet, so location wise we wanted to be where things are really happening. All about the positive, progressive energy.
Q 28. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Hmmm yes and no. To be an entrepreneur, not necessarily, although they do usually always have similar traits – but these are more personality / characteristics, which are more natural. You meet people and you just know they either are or would make a good entrepreneur. There is however, a formula to becoming a successful business owner. Both are very different things, an entrepreneur may be a business owner, but it doesn’t often work in vice versa. And that’s a formula for a whole other article.
Q 29. If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
Ans: Martin Luther King Jr. I have read a lot about him and I feel like his energy would be invigorating.
Q 30. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Ans: Two men from my home town. Once, a very dear friend of mine Terence Borgioli. He has a bespoke menswear label and has a relentless will and determination that really inspires me. We built our businesses side by side and were a big support for each other. The other is another fashion designer Aurelio Costarella, I have watched his career over many years and feel like there is a certain poise, dignity and grace to the way he does business, and the way he connects people to his brand.
Q 31. What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)
Ans: Rockerfeller habits. Big advocate of that book!
Q 32. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Ans: Not listening to the market and thinking I knew best.
Q 33. How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
Ans: Have good methods of tracking and measuring. Mistakes can then be quantified and corrective actions developed and implemented.
Q 34. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Ans: I love to write, short stories and am working on a book too. I love origami too. I used to volunteer with the homeless and at a childrens hospital back home but being such a new transplant to NYC, I am still investigating volunteer opportunities.
Q 35. What makes you happy?
Ans: Spending lots of time with my friends and family, helping people.
Company name Platinum Labs Global LLC
Address 1181 S.Roger Circle suite #30
City Boca Raton
Zip Code 33487
E-mail Id firstname.lastname@example.org