Australian-owned modular and kit home manufacturer iBuild Building Solutions has won the Small Business Award at the 59th Australian Export Awards. iBuild was recognised for adopting an innovative approach to boost low sales during the pandemic-induced lockdown.

A prefabricated building supplier specialising in kit homes, granny flats and modular buildings among others, iBuild faced a few moments of uncertainty when Victoria’s lockdowns meant the company could no longer operate their Mulgrave demonstration homes. Choosing to innovate rather than shut down, iBuild turned to a digital sales solution by successfully pioneering 3D walkthroughs for their kit homes.

According to iBuild managing director Jackson Yin, the company was focussed on modular and kit homes for the Australian market; however, by reinventing themselves online, they have attracted new overseas customers for their products.

“The online investment immediately bore fruit with a multi-million-dollar contract in Senegal contributing to a German foreign aid project,” Yin says.

In addition to delivering buildings to customers around the globe in the South Pacific and West Africa, the company has also been named as an approved tender supplier with the United Nations.

“We’re a building company that adapted to a new situation and invested in boosting our digital presence and improving our search engine optimisation. It’s something that has expanded our business beyond Australia,” he says.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan commended all winners for their ability to adapt and excel during a once-in-a-century global pandemic.

“Every business tonight is an exemplar of the Australian spirit, our dedication and ingenuity. Australians never shy away from adversity and their willingness to carry on is an inspiration to us all,” Tehan said.

“Together, these businesses have contributed more than $6.2 billion in export earnings to the Australian economy and employ more than 17,700 people.”