AirPhysio CEO Paul O’Brien shares the company’s export ambitions and what motivates his team to come to work each day.

25 Nov 2021

AirPhysio has an ambitious goal. 

‘Everyone in the business knows our aim with AirPhysio is world domination,’ says CEO Paul O’Brien with a laugh. ‘We’re aiming to have every single country buying AirPhysio by December next year.’ 

It’s a takeover that will see millions live healthier, happier lives. AirPhysio is an Australian-made Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure (OPEP) device. It is used for critical mucus clearance and lung expansion. It helps treat a host of common respiratory conditions. 

The AirPhysio device is portable, reusable, drug-free and comes in 4 designs. The company is conducting research to connect the device to its own app. This will allow users to measure lung health and track improvement. 

AirPhysio sells more than 50,000 devices every month using distributors and affiliate partners. 

Taking over the world from Tweed Heads 

So far, AirPhysio looks on track for its global takeover.

The Tweed Heads-based company grew export markets from 35 countries in March 2021 to 85 countries just 6 months later. Staff numbers jumped from 5 to 135 in one year. All in the face of a pandemic. 

Major AirPhysio markets can be found across the Americas, the UK, most European countries, Southeast Asia, Saudi Arabia, Japan and China. 

‘We've recently expanded to South Africa and Mongolia,’ says O’Brien. ‘Exporting makes up between 80–90% of our income.’ 

Changing lives 

What gets O’Brien, his business partner Steve Owen, and their team out of bed each day is knowing their products have the potential to change lives. 

‘We’ve got a global vision of helping people around the world to improve their quality of life,’ he says. 

AirPhysio receives testimonials online and via email from people who have used the device and improved their health. 

Helping people grow 

AirPhysio’s company culture is focused on helping all people reach their full potential. 

‘Our people are amazing, and we appreciate every single one of them,’ says O’Brien. ‘We ask where they want to go in the next 5 years. We want to help them grow as an individual, not just an employee.’ 

The company also has a strong community focus. 

‘We have a relationship with a number of entities working in physical and intellectual disability spaces,’ says O’Brien. ‘We're trying to reinvest back into the community, to help them out and develop those areas.’ 

Tips for new players 

As a 2021 Australian Export Awards finalist, O’Brien encourages new exporters to focus on the ‘how’ of exporting. 

‘Business-to-consumer marketing helps generate awareness before you enter a new market,’ he says. ‘Having an online presence and creating an e-commerce platform opens you up. This makes it much easier to get distributors and wholesalers over time.’ 

The only way is up 

O’Brien says AirPhysio’s recognition in this year’s awards has opened up a new sense of scale. 

‘The fact that we are a finalist is just phenomenal. The fact that we won the New South Wales Exporter of the Year Award was unbelievable! 

‘It shows us what we can achieve, and where we stand in relation to other companies. We actually had employees asking if they could get a copy of the award to put into their resume. They were so proud to be part of an award-winning company. It just means the world.’

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