Josh DoolanManaging Director & CEO
Since its inception in Newcastle in 2013, Mudbath has been an agency driven by a big vision and a simple premise: good solutions for ambitious businesses. Now home to 120+ employees, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Josh Doolan has been at the centre of its success, spearheading exciting technology solutions and building genuine client relationships, to prepare Mudbath for the world stage.
Josh Doolan has always had big ideas. He’s always had a propensity for looking at businesses and immediately seeing a blueprint for their success, built on the latest or yet-to-arrive digital solutions.
It’s that vision and the hunger that underpins it that took him from university, to a leading Australian digital agency, and into his own rapidly growing business in just three and a half years.
With almost a decade now at Mudbath, Josh and his team have made the firm one of the country’s premier digital product providers, and with sights set on growing both its Australian and international client base, that passion for ground-breaking tech has never faded.
Spearheading exciting technology solutions
Few people outside his family and work circle know that Josh was once a serious muso.
Talented and from a background playing instruments since his infancy, had his stars aligned differently, Josh might be picking strings in front of screaming audiences, rather than pounding keys while surrounded by dedicated digital developers.
At Sydney’s University of Technology, Josh studied and strummed his way through a Bachelor of IT, further embracing his passion for technology and all that was rapidly emerging in that space.
As a lead engineer at a niche, yet cutting-edge e-commerce software development agency, Ziller, during the final year of his degree, Josh learned how a growing business functioned, cut his teeth on innovative projects for brands such as Hitachi, and met future CDO of Mudbath, Wes Fagan.
Josh’s fascination and excitement for solving complex problems with established and emerging tech was confirmed, and set in motion a future focus on e-commerce and digital product development.
Josh was then introduced to global clients, as an engineer at one of Australia’s most successful digital agencies, Wiliam, and welcomed the opportunity to grow with a larger and nationally-renowned firm.
Working with clients from Woolworths, Qantas and Mastercard among others, Josh joined Wiliam’s solutions architect and development teams, delivering large sophisticated software projects, apps, enterprise content strategies and bespoke e-commerce experiences.
With the success of some of Wiliams’ big clients under his belt, Josh followed his passion, and Mudbath was born.
Building genuine client relationships
Based on his early years growing up in the regional NSW town of Mudgee, and his formative school years spent in Bathurst, Mudbath’s unusual name is a celebration of where Josh comes from.
In 2013, moving with his now wife to Newcastle, Josh was immediately inspired, and dived back into digital consulting, rapidly securing his first client, UNSW.
Finding his rhythm quickly, and drawing on the skills he’d gained in enterprise web and client management, he worked with a small team on an interactive web and mobile-based app that was later recognised in the industry for its innovation, design and efficacy.
Off the back of this success, and recognising Newcastle was incredibly talent-rich in the technology space, yet opportunity-poor, he started to build out a broader Mudbath team, attracting exceptional executives as the company grew.
Picking up clients like national insurance company, nib (still a client to this day), Mudbath quickly proved itself with the quality of its work, and both word of mouth and an excellent team paved the way for rapid expansion.
At the time, with no marketing department — a trend that continues to this day — Josh was focused on bringing in the right talent, with that same passion for cutting-edge technology, and an eagerness to solve complex business problems.
In the same year as nib selected to partner with Mudbath, workforce competency software, Pegasus and HealthTech startup Scrypt, engaged Mudbath to help build out their respective offerings.
Contracted as CTO to both companies, and working very closely and collaboratively with the specific CEO’s, Josh and the Mudbath team supported their growth to major future milestones.
They provided valuable skills to Pegasus, as it navigated complex international scaling challenges and delivered on large contracts, seeing it through to a recent significant growth investment by leading Silicon Valley tech investor, Accel-KKR, before acquisition by global safety management company, Avetta.
Scrypt secured investment from ASX listed pharmacy wholesaler, Sigma, to support its rapid expansion into the community pharmacy market, and investment also came from CommBank health which it partnered with to bring a pharmacy payment solution to the industry.
These milestones helped shaped Josh’s fierce passion for digital product commercialisation on a national and global scale.
Often uniting seamlessly with in-house development teams, Mudbath’s own project teams become true partners to clients, not only delivering on outcomes as promised but providing guidance and insights, training and problem-solving, with an aim to leave the in-house team capable of supporting its new platforms and solutions.
It is this ‘partnership’ that has resulted in the vast majority of clients finishing one project, and sliding effortlessly into the next, in an ongoing relationship designed to enhance technology, processes, communication, their brand and bottom line.
Preparing Mudbath for the world stage
After securing its first anchor clients and delivering solutions that future-proofed their businesses, Mudbath’s expansion accelerated very quickly.
With more than 100 employees now across three locations, Mudbath has worked on major projects for national and global brands, implementing exciting digital transformations across an array of industries.
With nib, Commonwealth Bank, Michael Hill, Grays Online, ARTC and Aurizon among the long list of loyal ‘partners’, Mudbath is on par with much bigger agencies operating out of Australia’s capital cities.
As the CEO of Mudbath, Josh’s future focus is firmly on two areas. Firstly, he is looking internally, working to continue to build the team with talented technical specialists from a number of areas, giving them the space and opportunity to carve out their own careers.
Secondly, Josh is dedicated to scaling the business on the back of the quality work that the growing team takes great pride in producing.
His leadership team understands the need to always be at the cutting-edge of technology and industry leadership. It is motivated through a strong mission and vision, to look for the next opportunity to evolve its stack, both to better service its clients, and to deliver diverse experience to its internal team.
The brand has already put Newcastle on the map in the digital world, and through its own projects and its work to create a hub for talent in the area, it has ensured regional Australia is now high on the list for big brands looking to implement cutting-edge tech.
Josh’s plan is for Mudbath to become a global household name in digital transformation over the next decade, synonymous with excellence in digital product delivery, and rapid career growth for a team of people who have just as much fun, challenge and passion as those at Mudbath do now.