Tell us about you, your experience and time in the Middle East?
I joined the military straight out of school and studied Computer Science. In fact, I knew I wanted to do both of those things before I was even a teenager! I moved into training in the Air Force and served almost ten years before making a move to the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia was my first stop in 2006 where I worked training Air Force cadets in Riyadh. In 2008, I took a similar role training UAE Air Force officers. Having worked in and around the military my entire adult life, I spotted the chance for a dramatic career change back in 2012.
I have worked in training for many years and I’ve always had an interest in technology, so, I decided to combine this to start developing e-learning products. A great piece of serendipity occurred when I met Jason, who would become my business partner.
It’s been over two years since going full-time at Capytech, and we’ve not looked back since!
- How would you describe the culture of your business?
We’ve got quite a unique culture in that all our team works remotely and is spread out in many time zones. We get together at least once a year but our collaboration tools mean we always know what everyone is working on or is having difficulties with.
I very much follow the philosophy of the guys at Basecamp about the effectiveness of working remotely. Removing the grind of daily commutes and meetings really allows you to get down to doing the work. There are trade-offs of course, but it works very well for us, and we’ve built our company based on this rationale.
Both Jason and I have young kids as well, so our families were a priority from the start. Whilst we do work long hours at times, we know that we usually have the flexibility to attend all the important events in our kids’ lives.
- What are the biggest challenges in the next 5 years?
In our industry of e-learning, it’s still a relatively fledgling market here in the Middle East. So, one of the challenges is educating HR and training professionals about the possibilities of e-learning. This, of course, presents an enormous opportunity as well, as we can establish Capytech as an industry leader locally in the field.
As I’m sure many businesses can testify to, budgets in the region are tight. Often training is the first victim. My challenge is to prove that the ROI on e-learning is worth the investment and makes economic sense, even in tougher times. As the economy starts to improve, I'm confident we will be in a good position to help companies on their e-learning journeys.
- What is your Philosophy
In business, I very much have a philosophy of abundance. I love connecting like-minded entrepreneurs and business folk. I feel that by making these connections you not only benefit the people being introduced, but they are likely to remember you when the time is right.
I also feel that, as an entrepreneur, you need to strike a solid work/life balance. It’s very easy to let the work side take over as there’s a never ending list of things that need to be completed. Although I struggle with it at times, I always try to make time for exercise and hobbies as well as being fully present when I spend time with my son
- What sets Capytech apart?
As a young and growing company, we've adopted agile methodologies to our development of e-learning. Borrowing this directly from the software development world, it allows us to get client feedback early – often while still in the development process. This helps us ensure we're meeting their expectations. With our remote business structure, we can also offer this at a very competitive price point.
We also like to set ourselves apart by only offering bespoke solutions. We don't do anything off-the-shelf and therefore make sure that all our solutions are optimised for our clients. We don't want to compete against all the players with large portfolios of soft skills, so we differentiate ourselves by having great custom content and modern project management.