Words: Matt Innes
The MADCAP Global Productions Group was established in 1995 by Managing Director Stephen Morris, a man whose life and interests are as diverse as the multi-faceted company he created that’s still growing and stronger than ever.
Stephen was born in 1964 into a working-class family in the Welsh town of Port Talbot, renowned for its hulking steelworks. In 1969, his family immigrated to Australia when Stephen was just four years old.
For over 20 years, Stephen has built the MADCAP Global business into a developing brand with an extensive service network that includes commodity trading, import/export of woven packaging & geo-textiles, farming and agricultural products, port based logistics & warehousing, delivering business and IT solutions. The company also creates audio and visual productions that includes the producing, promoting and distributing of music of independent artists.
The identity and personable character of the MADCAP business model is very much shaped by Stephen’s own demeanor and worldview. Though a savvy and successful businessman, at the heart of MADCAP – across its many branches and endeavors – is the creative passion and drive of an artist.
“I used to be a singer-songwriter back in the early ‘80’s starting an originals band in Brisbane [Australia] known as Two Can Play,” he fondly recalls.
“We’d spend hours in studios here in Australia and in London developing our sound. Eventually getting to work with some of the world’s biggest names in entertainment performing our own songs.
“All of that ended in 1989 when I got to understand the meaning of the term ‘recoupable advance’,” he laughs.
“It was a great experience all the same managing the day-to-day activities of a band and its commitments, as well as songwriting and performing duties. I certainly came to understand the true meaning of compartmentalizing and management.”
With his background in the trials and tribulations of being an independent musician, Stephen created MADCAP Records Australia as a way to help emerging artists sell their music and promote their brand. With royalty returns on sales of an artist’s or band’s music via the MADCAP Records website – approximately 70 per cent which leaves mainstream music platforms seriously wanting.
Discover a whole new world of independent music at www.madcaprecords.com
Stephen’s days as an entertainer might be few and far-between but he still carries with him the wealth of knowledge and experience acquired in the rough-and-tumble music industry that included working for major and independent records labels behind the scenes.
While there are several philosophies Stephen says he applies to his business practices and related decision-making, there is one that struck a chord with him that almost entirely underpins all of what MADCAP Global does.
“’Start with the end in mind’,” he says. “It’s inspired by Stephen Covey from his book ‘Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People’. If you think about it, [when] something new and exciting comes along in your business or personal life you tend to get all excited and motivated about trying to engage in it.”
By starting with the end in mind, Stephen says it helps to develop a clear picture of a project or idea in its entirety, right through to completion; it’s a method that has served him well throughout his professional career.
“As often is the case in life things come to an end and rarely do people seem to have an exit strategy. It’s important to consider what it is to start something, but also what it is to finish something properly before moving on to discover what’s next.”
The reach of the MADCAP Global network is limited only by how far Stephen wants it to extend, meaning there is still untapped potential for continued growth and development.
Given the demands of running a company like MADCAP, Stephen strongly believes in retaining a sense of himself outside the business. A keen amateur pilot, sports fan and theatre-goer, more than anything else Stephen sees himself as a family man, preferring the company of kin in his downtime to enjoy simple pleasures like a warm, sunny afternoon or an evening meal with friends.
With many more goals to kick, one goal that is important for Stephen as a businessman and human being is to create a charitable foundation to help underprivileged children and support them and help them in achieving their goals.
“We’re working hard to underpin the business to ensure that into the future we can establish this foundation that is already in the plan of the business,” he says, “to enable some of the profits from the business to go towards the benefit of others, mainly children from underprivileged or disadvantaged backgrounds.”