Living and learning through hypergrowth at Brighte
Our Chief Operations Officer and Support Manager share their insights on the ins and outs of 'hypergrowth', and how we're managing this exciting phase at Brighte.
By Eirini Voudoukis
18 February 2022
withChallenges are inherent in the startup world. There’s trial and error involved in figuring out what works for a new business, but when you’re getting it right, growth is inevitable. And if you’re lucky enough to be doubling your business every few months, you’ve reached what’s referred to as a state of ‘hypergrowth’ – something we’re experiencing at Brighte right now.
We hit the ground running at Brighte when we started our business because we knew that what we had to offer was really fresh and exciting. We’re happy to say that Australia agrees! With such rapid and continued growth, our people have a unique opportunity to be part of an exciting, fast-paced environment, where they can make a real impact every day. There’s always something new to learn or improve on at Brighte, and everyone here is encouraged to speak up and play an active role in our evolution.
Our Chief Operations Officer, Uzair Moosa, and Support Manager, Millie McChlery, had a quick chat with us about how we’re managing this inspiring phase at Brighte, the ins and outs of hypergrowth in a business, and how best to leverage a state of hypergrowth for continued success.
Can you give us a rundown on what we mean when we describe a phase as ‘hypergrowth’?
Uzair: Hypergrowth is when a startup is undergoing extremely high growth – something like 20-30% month-on-month growth. Effectively, that means your business is doubling every three to five months.
Importantly, this is different to ‘seasonal growth.’ It is rather more prolonged. A startup going through hypergrowth experiences this regardless of seasonality and over a longer period of time – usually a couple of years.
What practical implications does this have on the business?
Uzair: If you are experiencing hypergrowth, your existing processes and infrastructure are not able to keep up with the constantly changing environment, so you have to keep adapting them and scaling things up accordingly.
What sort of opportunities does hypergrowth provide from an employee perspective?
Millie: For employees, it offers a unique opportunity to be exposed to an extremely fast-paced environment in which they can have very tangible impacts on the company both now and for its future. Due to the hypergrowth we’re experiencing at Brighte, there is constant change, which I love. Every day there’s a new challenge, or process to change, or part of the product to learn about.
The other great thing is that we have a flat hierarchy at Brighte, so everybody in every part of the business is heard. We are always looking for input from all team members! From Customer Support agents who know the customers’ pain points, to someone who has lots of previous experience in credit policy at their previous role to guide how we move forward, to team members who just want to question why we do something a certain way – we often end up making changes based on that sort of questioning from people.
What are some of the things we’ve learned through such steady and rapid growth at Brighte?
Uzair: I think Brighte has done a great job in terms of setting a very ambitious, lofty higher purpose – to make sustainable living accessible to every Australian household – which in turn helps attract top-tier talent. When you have top talent, you are able to execute really well to begin with, and then are able to take hypergrowth in your stride.
I feel this is my greatest learning from Brighte – following things in this sequential order allows magic to happen.
Millie: I believe major mistakes are the biggest source of growth for any individual or company that continuously grows at a rapid pace.
When I look back at all the times I made mistakes throughout my career, I can see that each one was quickly followed by a huge stage of growth, whether personally or growth for the company I was working in.
Brighte really embodies that too. We have a great culture of ‘fail, learn, adapt’ that allows individuals and teams to take a risk and back themselves. If it doesn't work, they just learn from it and adapt it to a new strategy that will work. I think this is what has enabled us to grow so quickly.
Are there any specific steps you’ve taken to ensure our operations can keep up with our rate of expansion?
Uzair: Brighte has created an environment where we are constantly adapting and changing to the needs of our customers.
In the environment of hypergrowth we find ourselves in, this flexibility is what allows us to keep scaling our customer experience and internal operations in time to efficiently deal with increasing demand.
We continuously focus on process optimisation – looking for opportunities to improve from a scalability perspective without compromising customer experience – and process automation – finding ways to automate repetitive tasks to allow for a better user experience.
With this approach, we are able to scale our teams appropriately to meet our growing needs.
Millie: Something I believe to be key for us is very clear transparency at all levels of our business. Our goals and initiatives are clearly communicated to everyone, which allows every person, regardless of where they are in the business, to understand what we are collectively working towards.
Operationally, there is a large focus on building out our product, tech and IT teams to ensure that we can continue to build and improve products for scalability. Also, as Uzair just touched on, we are heavily focused on automation right now to enable scalability.
For example, the operations team is currently looking at how we can implement AI technology to assist us with customer calls, to reduce repetitive tasks currently performed manually by our agents. We’re aiming to find a way to incorporate AI whilst still delivering top-class and personal customer service!
Thanks for your insights, Uzair and Millie. We’re looking forward to all that’s ahead for Brighte!