Meet Paul J. Lange
Serial Entrepreneur, Rapid Business Growth Expert
Paul is an internationally experienced C-Level executive specialised in leading rapid growth start-ups & complex business expansions.
His career spans more than 25 years and five continents during which time he considers himself privileged to have been instrumental in helping both entrepreneurs and multinational enterprises to realise their vision and achieve their business goals.
What drives and inspires Paul is working with people who can visualise what they want, are passionate about achieving it, and take action toward it.
Australian born, Paul attended school in both Australia & New Zealand. His professional career started in Germany where he undertook Hotel Management Training. Once appointed Assistant Bars’ Manager at the Hilton International Hotel in Düsseldorf, Paul designed and implemented systems that increased productivity, and improved cost efficiency of personnel by 37% in the bars department of the hotel. A couple of years later as the Beverages Manager of a Michelin star restaurant he created new services boosting banqueting revenue by DM 3.8 million in the first year, increasing profits by more than 100%, and exploded public bar revenue by a factor of 10 from DM 500,000 to DM 5 million within 2.5 years.
Cognisant of his abilities from early on Paul founded his first company at the age of 21 in the hospitality industry. Cocktail Priveé was hugely successful servicing events up to 4,000 people and serving on average over 60,000 guests per year. Paul outsourced non-strategic operations to a larger events company to leverage cross-promotion exposure, and achieved DM 2.4 million annual turnover within 2.5 years, with retained earnings of 38%. Paul exited the venture after three years through a management buyout (MBO), assisted by his then mentor, the retiring founder of a west german investment bank.
After the MBO, guided and supported by his mentor Paul co-founded a boutique investment firm focused on venture capital and private placement underwritings with head office in New York City. Paul established the contact office in West Germany, and later opened a further European contact office in The Hague, Netherlands. The company processed applications for funding from USD 5 million to USD 50 million and was backed by 21 different private and non-institutional investors. The business was acquired by a large investment house in the mid 1990’s for an undisclosed amount.
In 1993 Paul founded the Private Wine Importers Coalition headquartered in New York City. PWIC was a private membership based wine import and distribution service bringing containers of affordable packaged European wines to the United States as a private import by the membership base. By the end of the first year the business had 1,300+ members and was shipping in excess of three full containers (20’ FCL) per month generating more than $1.3 million revenue in year one. The business was sold to a national wine and spirits distributor in 1996.
In 1993 Paul also co-founded a web development company in New York City (Interweb, Inc..) that created (one of) the world’s first online business incubator. The company generated USD 1.8 million first year revenue with 28% retained earnings. Interweb, Inc. also created the world’s first 3D shopping mall on the world wide web which was featured on CNBC, and was invited to submit a solution for the implementation of Internet access to 27 island nations for the United Nations SIDSnet project; the company’s wireless Internet proposal was nominated the preferred solution.
In 1993/1994 Interweb created an Internet based application to operate a barter exchange online. The Intertrade Mercantile Exchange was born from this ground-breaking technology and created one of the worlds first online barter trade exchanges and virtual currency. IME was sold in late 1994 to TransMedia Barter.
In 1995 Interweb was asked to provide Internet marketing for the world’s first online fur fashion show by Furs Online only two weeks before the show. The campaign resulted in a tidal wave of visitors ultimately crashing the the client’s servers. The client was overjoyed. Later, Interweb helped the client to migrate to Digex’s (then) new and revolutionary ISP-TV technology that network linked multiple CU-SeeMe Video Conferencing servers across multiple ISP’s for a more stable and reliable level of streaming video service.
Interweb’s incubation service was sold to Digex and merged with their shared web-hosting service, another world first. The web development side of Interweb was sold to another local web developer to whom occasional excess work had been outsourced, and the consulting arm was taken over by Paul and later used to launch a remote (off-site) data backup company in 1996, Critical Data Net.
Critical Data Net was a pioneer in the off-site data backup space. The company serviced small to medium businesses across Europe (predominantly in the Netherlands) initially using multiport serial boards with banks of analog modems. CDN was the first in Europe to migrate to an Internet based technology and expanded its reach to the rest of Europe starting with the neighbouring countries of the Benelux and Germany, with further expansion into North America and Scandinavia. The company grew rapidly to 2,500+ clients within 3 years employing 35 staff with annual revenue in excess of NLG 6.2 million. After rejecting several offers to merge or acquire the company outright during the late 1990’s, the business was sold to Bart Internet Services in 2003.
These are a few of the successes. Paul is not too proud to admit that there have also been several monumental failures. It was from these failed ventures that he has taken some of his greatest learnings, and it is that ability to learn from mistakes and teach others that makes Paul so effective when working with entrepreneurs and corporate leaders alike.
Between and during these ventures Paul has consulted to or served on the Advisory Board of numerous clients large and small. Some of his consulting clients include Microsoft Financial Services EMEA, ABN-AMRO Bank, AEGON Insurance, Euroclear Bank, Gandalf Benelux, government organisations and agencies at the local, regional (or state) and national level. Paul still serves on the Advisory Board of the Young Entrepreneurs Society Australia, INKOM Wealth Management and several SME’s.
By consistently creating successful outcomes and producing desired results Paul has attracted a large network of business contacts and earned an international reputation for being the go to guy for achieving results when the stakes are high. He is asked frequently for his opinion by the media, and is invited regularly to speak at conferences and other business events. He continues to provide consulting to companies across a broad band of industries including technology, financial services, hospitality, construction, adult, and the leisure, travel, and tourism industry.
Paul has lived and/or worked across Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, and Africa. He is currently based in Australia where he lives with his wife.
Paul has developed several methodologies that he applies when working with clients. Using common sense in the execution of structured business practices, implementation of effective processes & systems, and efficient leverage of technology based solutions, Paul is able to turn underperforming entities into profit making machines.
Paul is committed to delivering the highest standards of integrity, excellence, and performance in dealing with, respectively in acting for or on behalf of clients and their customers. The long list of testimonials, for the value clients receive time and again, speaks for itself.
You can visit Paul’s website at www.paullange.com.au