BDC Global Group co-founder Matt Fidler believes Qoin saved the modular home design company after the pandemic all but shut down global markets and slowed international transport to a crawl.
Matt and his partners relied on shipments from their factory in China for the house-in-a-box system the company had engineered to provide third world housing.
When the pandemic hit, he had just spent four years training locals in Papua New Guinea to build the houses, and the company was thriving.
“We had probably two million on order into Vanuatu, PNG and other South Pacific islands. We had invested stacks in engineering, training and planning, and I’d just come home from PNG in early March with all these sales,” Matt says.
“Then all of a sudden, we’re shut down.”
With millions in orders plus years of work trashed by the pandemic, the BDC Global Group partners were left with a company brand that meant little more than its name. But they were still liquid and had no debt.
“When I came home to global chaos, we met as a team and looked outside the box,” Matt says.
“What if BDC began servicing markets onshore as well as globally?”
Qoin offers a lifeline during pandemic
A member of Bartercard 12 years before, Matt started studying a recently launched cryptocurrency he’d heard of through an old contact—Qoin. He and his partners realised two things in a short time.
One, the Qoin merchant base in Australia opened up huge opportunities for marketing to a network of potential customers right across the country. From wineries to caravan parks, the domestic market for the small, self-contained units BDC Global specialised in seemed boundless.
And two, they found a community of like-minded businesspeople who welcomed new opportunities and “left-of-centre” thinking.
“We thought we don’t owe any money so our business is sustainable, and here’s a free marketing and sales platform you can take Australia-wide straight away, with the opportunity of global markets in the future,” Matt says.
“So as a team, we decided ‘screw it, let’s do it’, as Richard Branson says!”
In October, BDC Global Group joined the marketplace.
“It’s been absolutely incredible. We thought COVID had stuffed everything up. But we’re basically now looking at the domestic tourism market in Australia and saying, ‘we’ll fix your property up’,” he says.
“People have had a big scare and are looking to travel locally. Those old facilities in the camp park or container home you used to stay in, those owners are going to want to lift their profile because it’s going to become a much more competitive market.
“Not to mention people leaving the cities and needing to put up new homes on blocks of land. It’s gone bananas.”
Matt says the Qoin platform has become a way to re-launch BDC Global Group post COVID.
As far as he is concerned, with COVID such a huge negative for the year, the timing of the Qoin opportunity was impeccable.
“Sometimes you need to dig deep and find a way in business, but most times it’s about looking sideways!” Matt says.