Young Entrepreneurs 2010: Francis Populin

Young Entrepreneurs 2010: Francis Populin

Government contracts continue driving Francis Populin’s C-Cure Systems but the last year has seen the security tech company diversify as growth returns to the private sector.

After completing a $150,000 contract to fit out the Brisbane Aquatic Centre with full CCTV security networks, the Australian Institute of Sport has again sought C-Cure’s services at the venue for an athlete development initiative.

“We have been working on the install of a high speed HD CCTV network that looks over various locations of the diving pool and diving boards at the Brisbane Aquatic Complex,” says founding partner Populin.

“The system is helping the coaches of the Australian diving team better train the athletes for the London Olympics with the images displayed in a larger format on pool deck via plasma screens with features like pause/rewind all at hand.

“It’s an ongoing slow process with a lot of customising but still a very interesting project to throw in among the normal commercial office security fit outs we specialise in. This is one we’re very proud to be a part of.”

Commercial office jobs fill the gaps between big contracts for C-Cure Systems, but Populin says his company ‘thrives on the jobs that not many people stick their hands up for’.

“A high profile call centre contracted us to design and install what they are calling the most advanced security system in any call centre in Australia,” he says.

“I can’t mention who it is for security reasons, but I can divulge that the system utilises biometric technology including finger scanning identification to complement the issuing of security badges.”

Future growth has been identified in the use of fibre optic networks. The technology replaces traditional copper information transfer wire with the same high speed fibre proposed for use in the Federal Government’s proposed NBN.

“The advantages of fibre optic cable include much faster networking and eliminating the threat of outside interference from an electrical storm for example,” says Populin.

“A lot of the work coming through for us is in replacing old copper systems with fibre. The increased focus of sustainability has also seen big growth in integrating security systems with power management.

“Some of the office systems we’re installing work so that the last person out of the building scans their badge three times and that shuts off the air conditioning, electricity and other non-essential power drains.”

With clients including John Flynn and Pindara private hospitals, Gold Coast Airport and several Queensland city councils, Populin’s business philosophy has always been quality over quantity.

“The real big companies that work on huge infrastructure projects can’t offer the flexible and fully integrated services that a small business like C-Cure Systems can,” he says.

“I prefer to have a small number of repeat regular clients rather than move from one big contract to the next. Offering integrated solutions mean we revisit clients once a week and provide security management rather than simply installing a large number of cameras and moving on.”

Populin joined forces with his father’s small security contracting business in 1998 and a year later relaunched the entity as C-Cure Systems.

Francis Populin
C-Cure Systems

Age: 30
Business Est: 1999
Staff: 4
Growth: 10 per cent
Turnover: $650,000

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