What drives you to succeed?
Being able to have meaningful conversations with customers! I enjoy helping them solve their business-critical challenges. I will never lose that feeling where you can look back and know you had a successful, positive impact that helps your client succeed.
You’re currently the CEO and founder of Equantiis. What does the company do and does it differentiate itself from its competitors?
Essentially, we’re a business composed of two halves, which are both dedicated to helping our customers become digitally enabled. The first is an independent advisory practise that helps customers understand their business challenges, and how technology can address them. We also have a technology business built around our product called Nico, where we provide intelligent automation services to organisations wanting to secure the benefits of a digital first approach, without having to go through the rigmarole of large-scale transformation programmes.
I would put our success down to being able to truly understand business demands and our ability to take an independent view on how technology can support an organisation to move forward.
Critically that means really trying to integrate ourselves into our customer’s business, so we understand what they are trying to achieve, and the root cause of the problems they’re facing right. Then working through them together to form a sensible plan, using a mixture of business and technology consulting skills, to address that challenge.
AI and Automation sounds quite boring… Why should we be excited about it?
Ha ha. It’s far from boring! It’s the fastest growing sector within technology right now. It’s already in our lives and has been for a number of years but many people don’t even realise it or that they’re even using it every day. The advances in automation using AI RPA Emil and OCR technologies means we can really start making a difference in helping organisations become digitally enabled. What this means is our clients can start delivering really slick customer experience, in the most operationally efficient way. Most importantly without having to go through large transformation projects that can run over budget, time, or even worse, not delivering back the value that the organisation wanted in the first place.
We are moving into a world where automation will become a 30 billion global market by 2030. That presents a significant opportunity for technology to really drive a positive impact into how organisations deliver their services, and how they operate internally, having moved into a digital first approach. More excitingly this isn’t a technical lead approach which us actually why everybody should be excited about this. There is an opportunity for everybody within an organisation to really start seeing the impacts of this innovation
The UK technology industry is doing extremely well. What major threats and opportunities do you foresee for it?
Access to resources with the right skill sets will always be the number one threat within technology sector. There is plenty of resource available but skilled and experienced resource is still hard to find.
Also the technology sector needs to focus on fixing business issues with measurable outcomes. We need to translate complex business challenges and operational constraints into technology solutions not just implement technology for no value
Are you excited about the future of your company?
Definitely! We are very lucky to be working within the tech space at such an exciting time. Our consulting practise is supporting organisations understand how digital technologies can help make a positive impact into how they operate. Couple this with what we’re doing with Niko. I think the next five years are going to be very exciting in terms of product development and customer acquisition. but most importantly demonstrating to our clients how technology can really improve the experiences of their customers. It’s a “win-win” for everyone.
Describe a moment in your business career that you’re most proud of?
My proudest moment in my business career is probably the moment I decided to go on my own. I had worked in other organisations that were small and I played an integral part in scaling them up, but I knew I always wanted to go out and build my own business, I just had to pick the time that was right for me. Quitting a very well-paid job for a large software company three months before my second baby was due was a very high-risk manoeuvre, but I knew deep down I would make a success of it and I have done.
Which famous business entrepreneur should we be most inspired by?
Several entrepreneurs inspire me. I have been following Stephen Bartlett for a number of years and the the last 18 months have been particularly impressive on his achievements. His journey is fascinating and inspirational, and I have learnt a considerable amounts from it. I’m also very inspired by my old boss Vin Murria and her track record of building and scaling successful businesses. There’s a lot of interesting stories there I can assure you!
Do entrepreneurs need to get up at 4am to be successful? What time do you get up and go to sleep?
Absolutely not. I’ve read the 5am club and I’ve tried it myself. The lesson I learned is you have to do what’s right for you. Yes you need to work hard in order to be successful but you also need to understand your own body and when you need to rest. There will be times where you will be getting up early and finishing late because that’s the nature of the beast when running your own business. There will also be times where you can take a slower start to the day and recoup. Right now I’m lucky enough to have my business as an owner and not an operator, which means my morning routine is at my pace. Some days I might have to have an early morning clinic call others you’ll find me in the gym. Regardless of which it is, I always aim for a calm start and as productive day as possible. I think the key here is a routine each morning that works for you which will result in a positive day.
Any words of advice to anyone seeking to run their own business?
Get a mentor or advisor. Ensure they are someone you respect and are experienced in the path that you want to go down. That way you can have an open conversation with someone who understands where you’re coming from during those difficult times stressful times, as well as the successful moments.