RSK Australia has recently been created as a legal entity to support RSK’s growth in the country. As EDP, one of the businesses in RSK’s Environment and Planning division, already has a presence in Australia, the company is spearheading the growth plan for the group.
EDP’s Managing Director Mark Haydock talks about how he plans to work to implement the company’s growth strategy in Australia, Singapore and Europe, and combine this with directing the newly created RSK Australia, in which he will be responsible for growing RSK’s wider service offering across the country.
To enable him to focus on both of these demanding roles, Mark has relocated from the UK to Australia and is currently living in Sydney.
“EDP’s Australian operations have grown rapidly since the company’s Sydney office opened in early 2019,” he explains. “Thanks to the team on the ground led by John Batty, we now have over 40 employees and have recently opened our second office in Australia, in Brisbane.
“Our team offers environmental, hazmat and occupational hygiene services. EDP is currently the only RSK company on the ground in Australia, but the plan is to expand RSK’s operations to provide the full suite of services that RSK businesses in the UK offer. This will take time, but plans are developing nicely and further announcements will be made on this over the coming months.”
Helpfully, Mark is no stranger to the country, having previously worked in Sydney for six years from 2007, giving him a good understanding of the Australian market.
“The opportunity for RSK in Australia is huge and relatively untapped, and there are currently high levels of infrastructure spending by state and federal governments, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria,” he says. “It’s a really exciting time to be expanding down under!”
Although RSK is relatively unknown within Australia, many of the multinational companies that RSK works with in Europe and elsewhere around the world have a strong presence in Australia, so provide exciting points of entry for RSK businesses into the Australian market. Because of the strong links between Australia and the UK and Europe, RSK is already known within the environmental consulting community in the country.
EDP became an RSK business when it was acquired in March 2021, and it operates in New South Wales and Queensland, maintaining good relationships with several large-scale infrastructure clients, including the Department of Defence.
The current level of infrastructure spending in Australia and RSK’s increased Ares funding facility have created a unique opportunity for RSK to become a significant force in Australia in a relatively short time frame.
Mark explains, “We are already seeing that RSK’s acquisition proposition (enabling businesses to retain their own identities and continue to grow and develop with the support of RSK) is resonating with business owners down under as it creates a point of difference when compared to our competitors. We see this as an advantage that will enable us to scale up quickly.
“We are keen to create a platform to enable RSK businesses to expand into Australia without the usual hassle of moving into a new territory. We can help with the setting-up of new businesses, support recruitment, provide central support (finance, banking, HR, IT, SHEQ, marketing, business development, etc.) and lay the foundations to enable the organic expansion of our operations in other parts of the world into Australia,” he added.
As the setting-up of RSK Australia gathers pace, Mark will soon be joined by RSK Business Development Director Stephen Kirk. Having worked with the RSK group for over seven years, focusing on business development in the infrastructure and government sectors, Stephen will be able to use his knowledge of this important sector and the wider group offering to reach out within RSK to identify the opportunities for group businesses to expand in Australia.
Behind the scenes, important steps, such as establishing RSK Australia as a new legal entity and increasing brand awareness to attract acquisitions and support recruitment drives, continue. The central support function and mergers and acquisitions capability are being built up to support the buy-and-build strategy in the country, as is the implementation of systems and processes to support RSK businesses.