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SPOTLIGHT: Setting up SMEs for success, with Downer Defence’s Ed Groch and Ranjan Rajagopal

In this episode of the Defence Connect Spotlight podcast, Ed Groch - Indigenous Engagement Manager, and Ranjan Rajagopal - General Manager Commercial at Downer Defence, join host Liam Garman to unpack Downer Defence’s SME incubation model and the hard lessons learned that have helped shape it.

In this episode of the Defence Connect Spotlight podcast, Ed Groch - Indigenous Engagement Manager, and Ranjan Rajagopal - General Manager Commercial at Downer Defence, join host Liam Garman to unpack Downer Defence’s SME incubation model and the hard lessons learned that have helped shape it.


This episode dives deep into the unique challenges that Indigenous businesses face entering defence industry, and provides some insights on the barriers that face all SMEs. From their own experiences and lessons learned, Ed and Ranjan discuss the challenges, the learnings and the continual refinements that have been instrumental in achieving some great successes for Downer Defence’s SME supply chain. Addressing the phases that defence industry SMEs encounter throughout their business growth cycle, the trio then discuss how other primes and defence businesses can employ the SME incubation model to support the sustainable growth of Australia’s defence ecosystem.

Enjoy the podcast,
The Defence Connect team

Listen to previous episodes of the Defence Connect podcast:

Episode 443: PODCAST: Unpacking the history of Australia’s defence policy and posture, with Michael Pezzullo
Episode 442: PODCAST: Moving beyond the End of History
Episode 441: SPOTLIGHT: Unlocking Defence performance through infrastructure design, with HDR’s Tim Napper
Episode 440: PODCAST: US Space Force engages with Australian SMEs at AusSpace24
Episode 439: PODCAST: Australia’s growing need for a national security strategy, with Andrew Wallace MP
Episode 438: PODCAST: Delivering Black Hawk in record time and setting the record straight on Army’s Aviation evolution
Episode 437: PODCAST: Life after Parliament and the changing geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific, with Scott Morrison
Episode 436: PODCAST: Private capital key to driving SME growth, with Mark Stevens
Episode 435: PODCAST: Putting veteran families first, with the Families of Veterans Guild’s Renee Wilson
Episode 434: SPOTLIGHT: Mission engineering – a missing piece of the capability puzzle, with Downer’s Rachel Hatton and Nathan Rickard

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