Tech Fast 50: Showcasing the rewards

An interview with Cashrewards, our 2016 Technology Fast winner
We caught up with Cashrewards to recap on the past year and find out how winning last year’s Tech Fast 50 catapulted them into the fast growth spotlight. Speaking to Andrew Clarke – CEO and Founder, Iain Skelton – Chief Operations Officer and Mav Peri – Chief Technology Officer, we delved into the detail of mindset, innovation, teamwork, resilience and got their top tips on growing by a phenomenal figure of 12,469%!

#1 What’s next for Cashrewards?

Diversification and geographic expansion.

Well, we have proven the concept of cashback here in Australia and we are now in the period of solidifying the business, educating the market and replatforming for growth. In the future, we are looking to diversify revenue streams and expand to other geographies.

The other exciting development is that we’re looking at sophisticated ways to be able to take Cashrewards into the offline retail world – opening up another key area. In a tech business it is all about identifying the on-going future focused opportunities and working with a cohesive team to bring them to life.

#2 What are the biggest challenges you’ve encountered and overcome?

Attracting and retaining talent that have the same passion, dedication and long term vision as you.

Balancing the long hours is tricky! But as you build a team around you, there is a shared sense of focus, vision and support. Establishing the right culture is critical and can also be a challenge. It takes time to find the right people with the right skillset and the right attitude.

Building the company takes time. From a workplace culture perspective, it’s always a focus on trying to attract and retain talent that have the same passion, dedication and long term vision as you. We want to hire people who feel empowered and who can bring a diversity of skills to the tech table.

When a business is growing fast – such as in the sphere of 12,469%!it’s important to always look at the big picture and plan the roadmap ahead. You need to balance the day to day business operations, firefighting and solutions – with a focus on what’s coming up.

#3 What are the exciting changes that have happened across the tech landscape?

The move to mobile has been critical.

In terms of the tech landscape, the move to the cloud has been the biggest thing to impact us in a positive way! If we were trying to do this 10 years ago, it would be too expensive or slow – whereas now, major projects can be achieved with the cloud. From a tech professional point of view, you can jump straight in to adding business value!

The move to mobile has also been critical. It has been a big change in the way in which people consume the web. So that is a large focus area for many companies now, who are trying to navigate the way forward and take a slice of the pie when it comes to mobile engagement.

#4 Any tips for dealing with business setbacks?

Tackle the cause rather than treat the symptom.

Every day there are challenges to creatively overcome. As a team, you need to roll with the setbacks and ensure you have a helicopter view. By taking a step back and looking at the big picture, you can see how best to navigate and cultivate a solution.

We use a range of methodologies and are always focused on tackling the cause rather than treating the symptom. When handling setbacks, communication is also fundamental. We have regular Town Hall meetings to tell our employees what is happening so everyone understands where the business is at and where we are going. We all need to fail fast and learn from our mistakes.

At the end of the day, purpose is key and we are proud to give back to charity through our association with the Starlight Foundation. It is our purpose that drives passion and passion drives product and product drives prosperity!

#6 What are your top tips for other leaders trying to grow their business?

Never forget to dream big. Anything is possible!

One could say that every business out there today is in fact a tech business – as we are all trying to harness the power of technology to achieve results. It’s important that leaders embrace change and are able to navigate uncertainty effectively – bringing their team along the ride. The biggest mistake to fall into is a mindset of “this is not how we do things here” – as this can significantly hold a company back!

Leaders need to ensure that there are seamless synergies happening across the business – so that all parts of the organisation, from Marketing to IT and more, are working collaboratively and are aligned.

Never forget to dream big. The tech environment allows things to happen and grow much faster than ever before – so anything is possible! Entrepreneurs need to challenge their thinking around what they can do.

#7 What have you enjoyed most about winning the Tech Fast 50 in 2016?

Taking the time to sit down and take stock.

When we entered we never thought we would win! We had grown so fast and really had no time to think about it! We thought that it would be a fantastic initiative to enter from a brand, PR and media perspective and we are so thrilled that we did.

The Tech Fast 50 process also provided a great opportunity to sit down and take stock of where we had come from and where we were going. It was incredible to have the endorsement of Deloitte’s Tech Fast 50 program and it has been a real feather in our cap.

The whole experience has also given our entire team a wonderful sense of confidence and pride.  From the comments on LinkedIn through to the press, it has been great to see the diversity of coverage, opportunities and conversations unfold. We would strongly encourage all tech businesses to enter! And there is no time like right now.

Have you got what is takes to join the ranks of Australia’s most innovative and forward thinking Tech companies? Deloitte’s 2017 Tech Fast 50 nominations are now open! Find out more here.


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