From Backyard Shed to Global Automation Powerhouse

 |  2 November 2023

Episode #113 | Creating Synergy Podcast

From a modest automation company in Adelaide to a global powerhouse with over 700 employees and $200 million in revenue, Andrew's journey is nothing short of remarkable. This episode delves into how SAGE Group weathered noise complaints and financial turmoil to rise to the top of the industry.

Andrew shares key moments from his early life, the intense challenges that shaped him, and his unique ability to build trust-based partnerships. With a mix of humor and insight, he offers valuable lessons and hints at the future of SAGE Group.



Why You Can’t Miss This Episode:

  • Foundation of Values: Learn how Andrew’s early values and humble beginnings fueled his ambitious drive.
  • Mentorship and Teamwork: Discover the impact of mentorship and strategic partnerships in business growth.
  • Commitment to Excellence: Explore how dedication to quality and customer satisfaction laid the groundwork for SAGE Group’s success.
  • Culture and Innovation: Get insights into creating a culture that fosters innovation and risk-taking for sustainable success.
  • Blueprint for Success: This isn’t just a success story; it’s a masterclass in navigating the complexities of scaling a business globally.

Dive into this rich conversation and walk away with a blueprint for ambition, resilience, and visionary foresight. Every aspiring entrepreneur, business leader, and dreamer should listen to this episode—don’t miss it!

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[1:09]- Budget and Revenue
[6:21]- Entrepreneurial Spirit from Grandparents
[7:15]- Decision to Leave School
[8:50]- Apprenticeship Application
[27:01]- Founding of Sage
[31:20]- Long-term Employees
[32:24]- Skunk Works Strategy
[43:51]- Lack of Initial Business Strategy
[58:41]- 2008 Recession Challenges
[1:14:38]- Sage Group as a House of Brands

Join the conversation on Synergy IQ on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram (@synergyiq).


Guest Info

Andrew Downs

Founder of SAGE Group

As the Founder and Executive Director, Andrew has been the cornerstone of SAGE Group's remarkable growth. His leadership extends beyond the internal operations as he holds board positions within all SAGE companies and serves as an independent director on several external company boards.

Andrew is a champion of strategic direction, ensuring that SAGE Group remains at the forefront of 'Engineering a smarter future and better world.' His belief in the synergy of bright minds and cutting-edge technology is evident in the daily operations and overarching goals of the company.

His influential presence in the industry is recognized through his active membership in the Executive Committee of the Australian Industry Group in South Australia and as a board member of the Australian Industry Group Training Group. In 2004, his entrepreneurial excellence was acknowledged when he was named Ernst & Young South Australian Entrepreneur of the Year.

The culture and success of SAGE Group are a testament to Andrew's vision and leadership. He was instrumental in establishing the private shareholding structure that exists today and continues to be a pivotal force in the growth and direction of all subsidiary businesses. 


Connect with Andrew Downs


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Meet your Host

Daniel Franco

Daniel is a 'People Collector' kind, a steadfast optimist who believes that the power of trusting relationships is foundational to our bright future. He believes that the world is a better place when we work together.

Meet Daniel


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