An Aboriginal-owned company is so confident of its future and the Territory’s economic prospects that it has built a fit-for-purpose warehouse, office and showroom in Darwin’s leading business hub.
RapidClean NT, which is wholly owned by Ironbark Aboriginal Corporation, will soon move from rented premises in Winnellie to the new 1200 square metre building in Berrimah Business Park.
“We’ve got a lot of competition from bigger, long-established companies, but we’re doing well,” says Ironbark’s Corporate Services Manager Steven Lawrence.
“And the more people who get to know about us and what we offer, the more clients we’re picking up.”
Newly-appointed manager Charlie Sharples has been brought in to manage the operation and drive new business.
“I am excited and driven to lead RapidClean NT as a competitor with competitive prices delivering in the Darwin region.
“We’re open not only to businesses but also to the public.
“We are a small friendly local team, who are all equally driven to grow the RapidClean NT name into the future.”
RapidClean’s new HQ, which cost $4 million, including the land, is being built by On Country Construction, a successful joint venture between Ironbark and Jaytex.
“The investment shows we’ve got great faith in the company,” says Mr Lawrence. “We’ve got a good business model.”
RapidClean started as a joint venture in 2016 and became fully owned by Ironbark in 2020.
“We set up the business because we wanted to create more employment opportunities for Indigenous people.”
The company sells a wide range of cleaning supplies and equipment, from toilet paper to detergents. It also sells and rents hand sanitisers for major events, and sells miniature shampoo bottles and other toiletries to hotels.
RapidClean even offers try-before-you-buy.
“Potential clients get free samples to use to see if they like the products,” says Mr Lawrence. “It’s a popular initiative and leads to a lot of new customers.”
One of the company’s big selling points is that all the products are eco-friendly – only the best are bought from preferred suppliers and all are fully certified.
RapidClean says that buying from them helps clean up Australia and decrease man’s footprint on the environment.
Customers include cleaning companies, Paspaley Pearls, the Territory Health Department and police.
“We’ve got a good cross-section of clients,” says Mr Lawrence. “Of course, we’re always looking for more.”
RapidClean NT also sells to the general public.
“Feel free to come to visit our friendly staff at our new showroom to inquire about our large range of products,” says Mr Sharples.
Goods are delivered in Greater Darwin in RapidClean’s distinctive green truck. Products are also freighted to Indigenous communities.
The company has a staff of five – what Mr Lawrence describes as a “small, lean team”.
RapidClean is part of a national chain but all stores are individually owned and managed.