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Audio Visionary

In Focus
NAME:Cameron Douglas
LOCATION:Brisbane, Australia
As the future unfolds, audiovisual technology has a front seat. Screens and sound have become a part of everyday life, and with CEO Cameron Douglas at the helm, industry pioneer Videopro is leading the way.

The audiovisual (AV) industry plays a vital role in shaping how we connect, communicate and thrive in today’s digitized world. From revolutionizing the way we experience entertainment, education and work, to bridging gaps in global connectivity, AV solutions are undeniably an essential component of modern society.

One Australian company is resolute in its commitment to advancing this ever-transforming landscape, ensuring that all can benefit from the power of AV innovation.

“Our purpose is to enhance people’s lives through technology and service,” Cameron Douglas, CEO of Brisbane-based AV retailer and technology solutions firm Videopro, tells The CEO Magazine.

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Established in 1980 as a consumer retailer during the rise of the video cassette era, Videopro quickly grew to become a key figure in the Australian AV scene. Over time, the company has undergone a continuous evolution of its business scope, firmly establishing itself as a resilient pioneer in the space, always keeping pace with the industry’s ever-evolving technology.

“We’ve done a lot of firsts in our time. We were the first company selling VCRs into the market and, because no-one could watch anything on them, we became the first video library before Blockbuster and any of those companies came along,” Douglas reflects.

“So that story of pioneering has replicated itself time and time again over the following 44 years where there’s always a new technology or a new platform, and really, it all comes back to audio, video and the experience.”

Embracing Change

In recent years, Videopro played an instrumental role in meeting the adaptive requirements of various organizations amid the extensive changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As numerous in-person offices closed and online study and work modes expanded, the company delivered innovative AV solutions across a diverse range of industries, allowing organizations to not just continue but even expand their operations.

“There’s always a new technology or a new platform, and really, it all comes back to audio, video and the experience.”

“When COVID-19 happened, we virtualized the Queensland courts to allow for hearings to continue,” Douglas reveals. “So in that regard, without the AV technology, the experience would have been far more difficult.

“We also did a lot of audio upgrades in the universities so that lectures could still be delivered virtually as well as in class, pioneering what became known as hybrid.

“Really it was the AV technology that enabled a lot of people to function and do what they had to do. If it wasn’t there, things would’ve been infinitely harder.”

“It was the AV technology that enabled a lot of people to function and do what they had to do.”

Douglas’ own professional growth within Videopro, where the team has now expanded to more than 100 employees, reflects the company’s dedication to embracing change.

Starting in an entry-level role as an internal telephone salesperson following university, he steadily progressed into the company’s corporate sales team, followed by stints in business development and marketing, then eventually executive management.

“My journey is not an unusual one. AV is a passion industry with few formal qualifications, and yet it is an industry that is highly technical, integrating software, hardware and physical spaces that ultimately touches everyone,” he reveals. 

Taking Risks

In 2016, Douglas participated in a management buyout of the business before he was ultimately appointed as its CEO in 2021.

“I’m very passionate about the industry and passionate about the company,” he says, adding that his nearly two-decade journey within the business is not just an impressive example of Videopro’s culture of nurturing growth and rewarding initiative, but also his own dedication to embody these traits.

“Something I did to sort of rise up the ranks relatively quickly was that I always took on the role before I asked for the role, which is perhaps something that you can do in a small and medium enterprise, but which might be a bit harder in a larger organization.

“As a staff member what you can do is fundamentally take on the risk of that role working or not working, and then once it’s in play and you’ve proved you can do it, then you take that role.”

At the core of Videopro’s operational function lies a commitment to take risks and face challenges. This approach extends to its unique focus on servicing both consumer and professional industries, which as Douglas explains, have traditionally been treated as very separate markets for AV companies to target.

“We’re mixing them together. There’s a lot of consumers who buy professional equipment for themselves, and there’s a lot of businesses that use consumer equipment. So we are just trying to let everyone buy and engage with AV how they want to, not necessarily just force them into a particular category,” he points out.

“Whether you’re just buying a TV for your lounge room or you’re buying a production camera for a film that you’re about to shoot, or you’re setting up a podcast or doing a lecture theater, we can do all of it. We want to be everything AV for everyone.”

“We want to be everything AV for everyone.”

However, his vision for Videopro extends beyond just generating quick sales. Boasting decades-old partnerships with leading industry firms, from international giants like Samsung, LG and Sony to local suppliers such as Sydney-based Jands, Douglas strives to build upon its legacy of collaboration.

His goal is to enhance the already strong core business relationships in the delivery of positive and ongoing outcomes for customers over the long term.

“We’ve got customers that go back 30-odd years, maybe even more in some of the larger institutions that we work with. So the trick with those relationships, particularly if they’re government, is to perform,” he explains.

“We’re really here for the long game. You never want to just try and capitalize on one project. You want to keep that customer for as long as you possibly can.

“Obviously over four decades, the business looks very different and a lot of people have changed, but so long as our culture and our values are the same and we still drive for strong outcomes for our customers, then we can maintain those relationships for years and years at a time.”

The Long Game

In an industry known for its rapid change, Douglas’ steadfast dedication to Videopro truly stands out. With a clear vision and strategy for its future, under his executive leadership, the company is well positioned to not only enhance its respected history in the industry, but also achieve greater successes in the years ahead.

“I am most proud of the team that we’ve built – and kept – in an industry like AV,” he confirms. “I’m proud of the company that Videopro continues to become because at 44 years old, you can be set in your ways, but we are constantly still pushing the boundaries and trying new things.

“We’re trying to build not just a better business, but really trying to elevate the whole industry as well. If you can have a positive impact on the people around you and the industry around you, that’s a fulfilling life.”

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