Meet the co-founder of Quint Group
Hello Greg, first and foremost it is an absolute pleasure to be interviewing you today, please tell me a little about yourself?
I’m 37 years old and from London, which is where I still call home, although I do spend around half my time in Cheshire where our head office is located. I founded Quint Group nearly a decade ago and have been CEO here ever since. I love technology but also have a passion for ‘old things’ including classic cars and art.
You developed an interest and started coding at 16, what made you want to learn how to start coding at such a young age?
My godfather is a Swiss software engineer and he got me interested in computers when I was young, so when the option came up to study Computer Science at A-Level, this was something that I thought I would enjoy.
What inspired you to start Quint and what is the story behind the name of the company?
In 2009, I reviewed a failed consumer finance business I had invested in, following the financial crisis. I could not believe how far behind the consumer finance industry was in terms of online technology adoption. This realisation prompted me start Quint. Initially I didn’t really have a clear idea of what we were going to do, I just knew that if we explored opportunities in this market that would benefit from technology, then we would work out how to make money over time.
What kind of market research needed to be done for you to identify the gap in the market that lead to the development of Quint?
To be honest it wasn’t hugely extensive. I did some research of the overall market to understand how most of the businesses were operating and it was clear that in most cases the entire business process was primarily transacted over the telephone or fax, with very little use of technology. Once I understood that technology would change the way this market operated, and the scale of the market, this was enough for me to start pursuing opportunities and I never looked back.
What do you think your company offers that sets you apart from your competitors?
We do not have single direct competitor because we have multiple business channels combined within one group. However, we do have competitors to some of our individual businesses. We continuously invest in our technology and people which gives us an immediate competitive edge. We remain focused on ensuring our core proposition adds real value and solves real problems for our clients that aren’t being solved by anyone else. The way we solve these problems is unique and this puts us in a very strong position. We never forget about the end consumer and ensure that the outcome for them sits at the heart of everything we do.
What would you identify as your biggest accomplishment to date as a company?
For the last two years, we listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Businesses to Work For and this has been very pleasing as it is reflective of how the people who work in the company feel about what we are doing and how we are doing it. That said, the biggest achievement for me was receiving the 2017 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation at Buckingham Palace.
As an entrepreneur what would you say was the biggest obstacle you were faced with and how did you overcome it?
There have been surprises at every step of the way and, and frankly, everything has been a struggle at times. When you first set up a business, you always have the hope that things will go well. When they don’t, it can be testing but you just have to work through it.
Acquired is another company you Co-founded which helps support emerging fintech companies, why is it important that such companies receive support and what inspired you to take on this responsibility?
As I understood our markets, it became clear to me that there were no payments’ business that provided tailored solutions for Financial Services and fintech businesses. I worked this out because we needed those services ourselves for Quint Group, and could only find generic offerings. Given our network of businesses and our understanding of the space, we thought it was a great opportunity and decided to go for it. Acquired is beginning to get traction and starting to grow which is great to see.
What advice would you give some looking to enter the fintech industry as an entrepreneur?
Don’t isolate yourself. View all your competitors as potential partners – there is something to learn from everyone operating within the Fintech space, so the importance of fostering collaborative business relationships cannot be understated. Also, you will make mistakes, sometimes costly ones. The key is to recognise when something isn’t working and fix it. Don’t put off making the difficult decisions or admitting when something isn’t working when change is needed. Always take a long-term view and never sacrifice short-term gain for the long-term objectives.
Finally, as an entrepreneur who has already started a series of successful companies what is your next step?
Global expansion for Quint Group remains a key focus, as well as the continued development of our products and services. This, we hope, will lead to Quint’s revenues reaching £100m in 2019