Martin Donald Murray, CEO and Founder of waterdrop, the world’s first microdrink, tells us why after disrupting the beverage industry across Europe, waterdrop decided to say hello to the UK.
What do you currently do at waterdrop?
When waterdrop first began, I looked after the strategy, company development and most importantly, financing. As we’ve grown across Europe, my job primarily consists of ensuring that we have the following two things to make waterdrop a success, namely enough money and the right people. When recruiting, we don’t only look for experts in our field, we look for people that culturally fit well with the brand.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
Not long ago, I found myself on yet another airplane on my way to yet another meeting in yet another city. Constantly on the move but determined to stay fit, I found it hard to find a drink that wasn’t full of sugar or packaged in unnecessary plastic.
I have always found the beverage industry remarkably interesting, and it has always fascinated me that such a large industry could be so outdated – nothing has changed in over 70 years. A drink is put into a plastic bottle, shipped across the world to supermarkets and taken home by the customer, only to be disposed of when finished.
In 2015, I began seriously researching the sector and although it appeared ready for a big change, there was no easy way in. I always knew it would be challenging to disrupt the giants of the beverage industry, but I knew that it needed change.
It’s always been our aim to help people drink more water and live more sustainably. So, we created the microdrink, a sugar-free compact cube aiming to provide a smarter and more enjoyable way to drink water.
Who do you admire?
My grandfather, who was also an entrepreneur, taught me an enormous amount about work, goals and simply what it means to be a good person. Also, the team at waterdrop® inspires me daily. Every single person is ambitious, pro-active, responsible and empathic, and we’re always ready for a good laugh.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
Honestly… no. Of course, in hindsight and after every meeting, I think about all the things I could have said or done differently. With that said, each decision takes us on a new path, and we are very proud of our development so far, which makes us even more optimistic about the future.
What defines your way of doing business?
We are a very interdisciplinary team that complements each other perfectly, sharing the same DNA and core values. The entire waterdrop team is super passionate, hard-working and no one ever takes themselves too seriously. The amount of passion we put into every detail of the company is what truly defines our way of doing business.
Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do and we wanted to make a big impact with a small product. Nearly 500 million plastic bottles are produced worldwide every year and almost half of these are used for shipping bottled water, creating over eight million tons of Co2. Helping customers drink more water and consume less sugar, all while leading healthier and sustainable lives, is what fully defines our mission.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Every new idea or business model has the chance to succeed as long as you fully believe in both yourself and your idea. You’ll meet many people along the way who will tell you your idea won’t work, therefore it’s even more important to surround yourself with people who understand and 100% support what you do.
You often only hear success stories of entrepreneurs, so a lot of people out there have a wrong impression of how much hard work is needed when starting a new business. Being realistic is the best advice I was given when starting out.
On a final note, never stop dreaming! Entrepreneurs are dreamers to a large extent, otherwise they wouldn’t do it.