From inception up until the setting up process, how did you start your business?
Having been involved in Ethnic Radio for 15 years prior to 1992, legislation within the new Broadcasting Services Act of that year provided the opportunity to establish a “narrowcast service” which had the intention of providing radio services to a specific demographic which was limited in some manner, ie language.
The ideal candidates for such services were ethnic audiences. The opportunity was there to provide a 24-hour commercial service to Adelaide’s Greek speaking population as an extension of my previous involvement. Narrowcast options provided by the new legislation included “Subscription Narrowcast Services” and “Open Narrowcast Services”. Most Greek radio services initially opted for the subscription model, especially in Victoria and New South Wales. Radio ENA was launched in 1994 against this concept and is proud to have the distinction of Australia’s first 24 hour “free-to-air” Greek radio station.
Did your Greek Australian background help you or impede you during your early days?
From a legislative perspective it assisted in the initial enquiry stage with both the Australian Broadcasting Authority and the Australian Communications Authority (now combined into the Australian Communications and Media Authority) as I was the model candidate for which the newly introduced legislation was intended. From an advertising perspective, it somewhat hindered my dealings with non-Greek based businesses as the establishment of a “foreign radio service” was both an “uncomfortable” and to some extent, threatening concept in the Australian media landscape.
What would you say stands out as the comparative advantage of your business over the competition?
We can target specifically a demographic for our advertisers. It acts like a filtering process.
How is business currently?
Business is keeping pace with inflation and surprisingly seems to be resilient in the current economic climate. We are providing another option for advertisers who need to curtail their traditional advertising budgets and are seeking less expensive niche markets.
What is your vision for the future of your business?
It’s quite an optimistic one. Many of our advertisers are now second and even third generation Greeks and they have made our station part of their advertising mix. I see this as their acknowledgement of the importance of maintaining a beacon of their heritage alive. The delivery language of our service, however, may need to be modified in years to come with more emphasis on English whilst maintaining the same subject matter.
Do you have any tips for young entrepreneurs?
Provide an online interactive Greek-Australian service with a state/city local focus and promote your services using all available communication technologies.