Ten years ago, having just left Microsoft after an amazing seven years, a germ of an idea incubated in my mind. I wanted to help organisations understand their customers and their business vital signs so rapidly that they could react to market changes quickly. iMovo was born to fill this need.
A need expressed by employers and business leaders alike from across the country – to build better, customer-centric businesses in the face of increasing competition, as markets became increasingly more globalised and deregulated.
Little did I know where this journey would take us. I was also very lucky in terms of finding backing and belief from Geoffrey and Michael Debono, Tonio Fenech, Christian Farrugia who placed not only investment but their trust in something completely new.
It was also clear ten years ago, that organisations could no longer expect to have monopolies and state aid sheltering them against both large and medium nimble international competitors, who in many cases had substantially more resources at their disposal. Malta’s entry into the EU in 2004 accelerated this even more. The only way to win in this scenario was to evolve, change and raise the bar on customer engagement and insight.
At the time, business leaders found these concepts somewhat bewildering. Indeed, in the early days, much of our time was spent educating CEOs and directors on what our mission was all about and how we could help them.
A key aspect of the success that iMovo has achieved, is largely down to applying basic human values: treating people with respect – an approach that earns our customer’s trust through full transparency in our dealings and engagement.
These values perhaps can be summarised as – trust, commitment and choice. A scant three months into the project, I was joined by Hadrian Sammut, who after a long successful career with KPMG, brought a rigorous approach to managing projects with him. As we set out on a new path, with a new team, the goal was to always carry the same level values and deliver on promises to the people that trusted and depended on us.
Now in our 10th year, I’m proud that our growing team continues to deliver on these principles as well as providing integrity, empathy and service day in, day out.
A company is not defined by its products and services only, but most of all by its people. Here, more than in any other way, we have been truly blessed at iMovo. For a technology company, we have had people having a tenure at the company for several years, which is unusual considering today’s hypermobile labour market. That said, our success has been a direct result of the kind of people we had the great fortune of picking to join the company. It is the youthful energy and enthusiasm that our people bring with them to work every day that keeps us at the forefront. Our people were not picked solely for their technical know-how, as much as for their personality traits and “can do” approach to life. In the last ten years, we have had people who were ironman athletes, classical musicians, librarians, first class chefs/gourmands, experts in the field of chilli growing, acting and more recently classical singing. These traits put together, make up much of our secret sauce.
Our technology partnerships and the choices we have made in this regard have been game changers for us as a company and have brought new opportunities for our customers. Most probably the choices we made, were a blend of sheer luck and some crazy long-term foresight or bet. Overall though, by often choosing the untrodden path and choosing not to simply fall in with the dominant players, this brought untold benefit to iMovo – suffice to look at when as a company we introduced the likes of Salesforce, Zendesk, Tableau, Qlik, Talend, UiPath and Snowflake into the local and some international markets. The relationships that have developed over the years here, have been consistently positive and have served our customers well. Our colleagues at our partner organisations have been truly supportive and enablers for us.
One would be remiss to not say a few words about our customers. Those oft patient individuals who have to put up with our peculiar way of doing business and providing solutions. They are so enthusiastic and excited by what we are doing together, they just can’t keep from coming back with new questions and ideas as to how they can further their digitalisation goals.
We have learnt so much from our customers, even in challenging situations and we thank them for continuing to work with us, some for much of the past decade. When we find ourselves working with some global giants of their industry such as Tesco, Dr Schar, Betsson and so many others which it is important to be grateful to, our people grow professionally and as a result, so does the value we plough back into these same customers. I would hazard to say that some of our customers are the unsung heroes in the iMovo saga thus far. If they were not prepared to go out on a limb and believe in us, when we were a start-up, we would not be in the envious market position we are in today.
We want to create lasting relationships and partnerships built on ‘shared values’ as opposed to just another impersonal business transaction. Partnerships that build trust between our platform of customers and partners – because ’doing the right thing’ should always take priority over making money. If by some chance we stumble, then we make it right to the best of our abilities and work harder to be better prepared for the next challenge.
This is iMovo’s core commitment we stand by.
It’s with our customers’ and partners’ input and feedback that we get better at our jobs and in turn help them build and/grow their business. I ask/hope that they always feel free to reach out to us, so we can listen and look to make iMovo the leader they rely on us to be.
As we look ahead into the next decade of service, the team and I are more focused than ever to lead in an industry that is dynamic and ever-changing. We are not looking to undercut or under-price the market and offer a cheap and perhaps incomplete solution. Instead, we have seen the roadmap of the current landscape and prepared a new set of business services (e.g. robotic process automation) that will consistently grow over the foreseeable future to provide more resources, exciting solutions to business problems, more transparency, more data, and ultimately more to customers’ bottom line.
Yes, we will continue to invest and research how we can do things better, faster, smarter and more efficient for less cost. And yes, we will do all this while having the highest levels of security, transparency, technical expertise and capabilities and most importantly – ethics.