Australian Story - Ross Milton "Bounce"
Australian Story – Ross Milton and Bounce Inc
Earlier this week, a small group of AusBG members visited Bounce – Abu Dhabi’s hot new trampoline park - for a very special QandA with Ross Milton.
Having built a successful career for himself in FMCG, Ross watched as a good friend developed and launched the first Bounce, in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Having fallen in love with the concept; Ross was convinced that he could make it work in the Middle East. Leaving his secure job and investing his own savings was a big risk for someone accustomed to the corporate world and reflecting on that time, Ross says he still can’t quite believe he took the jump (pun intended!).
But his gut feeling was right and despite some licensing and zoning headaches which weren’t helped by the inherent complexity of a recreation facility that also incorporates a café, events business and fitness program, the Dubai facility opened in 2014. It quickly became the hottest activity for teens and young adults. Of course, the younger kids followed and pretty soon most of Dubai’s families had spent at least a few hours in the air.
Having proven that the UAE loved the concept, Ross went on to open in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain in 2016. As luck would have it, the venues were ready to open just as the oil price plummeted. Far from being a disaster for the business, Ross believes that their mass appeal, and affordable pricing insulated Bounce from the downturn experienced by more expensive recreation options in the Capital.
When asked what he would do differently, given his time again, Ross lists only three things:
- Dedicate more time to the planning and construction phases of opening a business and a venue,
- Seek the opinions of people who have gone before you – especially when operating in a new location or culture. Even if their business is nothing like the one you are building, you will still be able to learn invaluable information from them, and
- Rely more on personal recommendations and references.
And to what does Ross attribute his success? “Creating an appealing brand and making sure that everything you do contributes to and strengthens that brand, looking three steps ahead in problem solving and being very tenacious.”
We can’t wait to see what’s next in the evolution of Bounce Middle East, with this tenacious Aussie at the helm, the brand is bound to go from strength to strength.
Bounce Inc now has 19 venues worldwide, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Find out more at www.bounce.ae
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