by Ted Richards

Click to listen to the latest episode of The Richards Report featuring former Australian cricketer Ed Cowan.

Ed is a real “slashie”. He’s a former Australian cricketer/ABC cricket commentator/investor/entrepreneur (although he prefers the term ‘small business owner’).

Ed prepared for the transition from cricket to finance by completing a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters in Applied Finance while he was still playing cricket. (So as you’ve probably picked up by now he’s certainly very driven).

During his time travelling the world playing cricket for Australia, it was hard to get a decent coffee (especially in parts of India). So he started taking his Nespresso coffee machine with him on tour. The popularity of this coffee machine grew as teammates and cricket staff started using it, but he grew increasingly frustrated by the the build-up of waste from single-use aluminium coffee pods day after day.

So he and business partner founded a business called Tripod Coffee that creates compostable Nespresso coffee pods.

It’s available online, at specialty grocers and hotels all across Australia.

We touch on the life skills that he learned during his time playing professional cricket: persistence, hard work, self-reflection and agility that he is now in his endeavours beyond cricket.

He is also involved with TDM Growth Partners, a fund that invests in both public and listed companies.

We discuss two companies TDM has been involved with: a recent investment (Guzman Y Gomez), and the other a company TDM Growth Partners recently sold out of after a 10-year investment (Baby Bunting). Both companies have an interesting story (and coincidentally I’ve spent a fair bit of money at both businesses over the years too!).

If you’re not aware already, Guzman Y Gomez is an Australian chain of Mexican fast food restaurants. It’s still a private company (i.e. it’s not publicly listed on the stock exchange). TDM Growth partners made an investment in Guzman Y Gomez last year. The business plans to continue its expansion in Australia, but is also expanding abroad with franchises in Singapore, Japan and soon in Chicago, USA. The opportunity to expand into the US is huge, but the company will be taking on the American juggernaut Chipotle, which won’t be easy. It’s always great to see Australian companies growing and expanding overseas.

Baby Bunting is an example of a company that TDM Growth Partners recently sold out of its holdings. It began as a small chain of baby retail stores in Victoria, but has expanded dramatically over the past 10 years to be a category killer all over Australia and a publicly listed company.

I ask Ed for any advice for a 17-year-old who wants to embark on a professional sporting career. He recommends making the sacrifices because hard work will beat talent.

I also ask him for advice for a professional athlete nearing the end of their career.

His response: “Even if you think that you’re not near the end of your career, get ready!”

Ed is a big fan of podcasts (listening to one or two a day) and I won’t lie, I was pretty excited when he said that he listens to the Richards Report podcast each episode. He also likes listening to;

  • Masters of Business with Barry Ritholtz
  • Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn)
  • Planet Money
  • Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell
  • ABC Conversations with Richard Fidler

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Published January 23, 2019