Technology is fundamental to innovation – opening up opportunities, solving problems and enabling rapid development and lightning speed adaptation. As an innovation hub, we constantly marvel at the ways our tenants use technology to develop their products and services, and the rapid pace of development and change.
Fast, adaptable, accessible technology has been critical to the expansion of innovation capabilities at Eastern Innovation (EI). But as with most innovation, it took significant planning and strong leadership to get us where we are today. The appointment of Sunil Jadwani as a Board Member in 2015 was a real turning point.
Sunil Jadwani is the founder-owner of Mulgrave-based business, Kodeworks. Sunil opened his business in 2002 after moving to Melbourne from Singapore, seeking a better lifestyle for his family.
Kodeworks designs and develops custom software tools for business operations. The business aims to help businesses flourish, through developing robust workflows and systems that generate sales and deliver products and services, enabling businesses to take the challenges of growth in their stride.
“We believe that with the right software tools, organisations with under-developed work processes can be strengthened for sustainable growth,” said Sunil. “I attended a presentation at EI and after learning about the plans and aspirations for the space, I was very keen to join the Board – it was an excellent opportunity for me to make a lasting contribution here.
“What the Board needed was ownership of the technology plans as well as immediate and future recommendations, to cater for the changing needs of tenants.
“It was especially exciting to join at that point, when the Jessie Tait Building was brand new – about four months old in fact. While the building was excellent, the IT capability of the facility had only been installed to cater for very basic needs.”
An innovation centre needs to be on the cutting edge, providing a can-do platform for success. Sunil’s experience was critical for success. He invested in deep research and pushed ahead with robust implementation.
“While there were some budget constraints, we still needed to make sure our tenants had what they needed. We needed to cater to different business and technical skills.
“Working in partnership with Danielle and the team, we investigated what we had, and listened to what our tenants had to say. All actions were guided by their feedback. While we could not be all things to all people, we needed a good IT provider, a secure fibre optic internet link, secure firewall and security.”
Once, technology was a key driver of innovation – but now it is fundamental to the innovation world and critical to the success and growth of our clients.
A gifted problem solver, Sunil was able to quickly pinpoint needs and solve problems, compare different offerings and come up with the right solutions.
His deep technology knowledge and commitment to helping our Centre become an agile, technology rich hub has been of immense value.
“Dealing with more than 200 people, educating them and easing them into new tech was a great challenge but absolutely necessary for our tenants.
“I have been through the highs and lows of innovation work too – the long hours over long periods to try and develop something completely new.
“If you do it alone, it will get you down. It’s so important to get out and meet with others who are also going through the same highs and lows and reduce the negative self-talk. I believe it’s important to take a positive view – there will always be an opportunity around the corner. Just because you can’t see it on the horizon, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
“This is what is so unique about the EIBC. We have a team and a place where people are trying to bring their ideas to the world. It’s a difficult job and at least here we have a common ground to share the challenges.”
Sunil is always looking ahead for new challenges and opportunities for the EIBC.
“In a space like this, innovation comes from doing – looking out for business and technological problems on an ongoing basis and seeing if they can be solved.
“Going forward, we are investigating new cloud and mobile based coworking space management software, that will help with visitor access to the centre. Tenants will also be able to ‘self-serve’, booking meeting rooms and facilities, which will improve internal processes and reduce the burden on the admin team,” said Sunil.
By helping the EIBC transition our technology from isolated platforms to interconnected solutions, Sunil has assisted us in our endeavour to have technology underpin everything we do and everything we touch.
Danielle Storey is the CEO of Eastern Innovation in Mulgrave, Melbourne, Victoria. She is also a co-founder of an international family business, author of The Selfish Servant, professional speaker and has been a mentor to hundreds of businesses throughout Australia.
Eastern Innovation is the home to dozens of Founders, Future-focussed Professional Service Providers and Corporate Innovators that are working on ventures that are innovative, disruptive and accelerating. The Eastern Innovation Business Centre was created with wide Municipal and State and Federal Government contribution and is a not-for-profit Company with an engaged and inspiring Board, Management and Team.