Pop Quiz, Monday Interview with Tom Dufraisse and Eric Amiel

Ricky Singh, MBA
Nov 22, 2019 · 4 min read

The Pop Quiz, Monday, is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise, after all, since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today, who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

1. Can you please tell everyone your name?

Tom Dufraisse and Eric Amiel

2. Tell us about your business and what you do?

Finding the right gift is like a unicorn, it’s either spectacularly perfect, or it doesn’t exist.

Whether it’s for a Kris Kringle, a wedding gift, birthday present, or an anniversary, you don’t want to buy something for the sake of it and risk it being re-gifted, tossed or thrown to the back of the closet.

That’s why we have BananaLab! Gift boxes that offer unique experiences, packaged like a present.

BananaLab is a revolutionary gifting concept that launched in Melbourne in 2018.

The concept is simple; BananaLab is a Gift Box that contains a Booklet presenting a wide range of experiences and a Voucher. When the gift box is offered as a gift, the recipient can then browse the range of experiences in the box, and they can choose and book its preferred experience and using the voucher for payment (the voucher is included in the BananaLab). This concept currently exists in Europe and has transformed the gift market in Europe. The Experience gift boxes in Europe has reached an annual turnover of 1billion euros in 2017. This transformation has occurrent because the recipient always finds and chooses an experience that really appeals to them.

3. Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?

We were on their way back from a surfing trip in Torquay when they hatched the idea for BananaLab — the gift box idea selling packaged user experiences.

Both hailing from France, we both moved to Australia for around five years.

But like many startup founders, and after many years in large corporate firms, we felt the urge to take a risk and create a business from scratch that was more aligned with our values and interests.

We both like sports, adventure, and travel, and we were thinking about different ideas. In France, selling experiences via gift-box sets are very popular, and we hadn’t seen any in Australia. So it looked like a market opportunity in a space that we love.

4. What are the challenging aspects of running a business?

Where to start…?

Building our offer from scratch was the first challenge. We didn’t have any network nor knowledge of this market at that time.

Having our first experience partner took us several months, but as soon as we had Kite Republic on board, other companies jumped in. Funny fact, some of them signed off without really understanding what we were doing. We have now overcome this challenge as we have built the second-largest Gift Experiences offer in Victoria, and we are now developing Australia wide at a fast pace.

Believing in something when the rest of the world needs to be convinced/converted is quite a big challenge.

One of our recurring challenges is to convince our wives that we are not doing all of this for nothing, but we are getting better at this!

5. What do you love most about your job?

Everything… No, seriously, we love every single part of our job.

No boss, no reporting, no fixed hours (we can work from 8 am to 4 am next day if we want), no need to suit up every day, the freedom to choose who we work with internally and externally, freedom to decide how and what we want to do.

The downside of it is that we only work with cool people offering amazing experiences that we have to try from time to time.

6. How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

We take everything seriously, and in the meantime, we joke about any serious things to bring these challenges at our level.

Most of the people in the team use electric skateboards to come to the office and even to meet up with big fishes. We are also thinking of having these electric skates as our “company cars,” but we still need to convince both our lawyer and insurer (no joke!).

7. What would one piece of advice that you give to a new business owner?

Why one when you can do three.

  1. Whatever happens, never give up!
  2. Starting a business with another person. Don’t go single!
  3. Don’t try to do everything by yourself, even less what if you don’t really know how to do, but try to get people around you around who knows.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web: https://www.bananalab.com.au/


Originally published at https://www.inboxdude.com on November 22, 2019.

The Startup Growth

Ricky Singh, MBA

Written by

Blogger

The Startup Growth

The Startup Growth is a blog focused on telling the stories of entrepreneurs and business leaders. We speak to leaders in different industries to learn about their challenges and success stories. What the readers get out of it are lessons that they can apply to their journey.

More From Medium

More from The Startup Growth

More from The Startup Growth

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade