Tech entrepreneur David Shein believes a firm’s culture and commitment to customer satisfaction are the biggest determinants of its sustained success. And he has one billion reasons to back up his views.
Shein, who is to speak at the SuperRatings and Lonsec Day of Confrontation conference at Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel on October 13, started his first tech business, a distribution company called ComTech, in 1987. He and his fellow shareholders sold it, then known as Dimension Data, for more than $1 billion 14 years later.
ComTech was one of four distributors of a very successful network operating system – so, there were four companies offering the same product which had very different results. Shein says that culture and customer satisfaction made the difference, with ComTech ending up with 70 per cent of the available market and the other three firms eventually exiting the space.
“Customer satisfaction is driven by your staff,” he says. “If you don’t have happy staff you probably won’t have a good business. You have to pay well, you have to listen to their input and make sure they are satisfied too.”
He is also no stranger to fund management, having been a chair of Centric Wealth, a private-equity backed advice and wealth management business acquired last year by Findex.
“When I started there as chairman the culture was toxic,” he says. “I’m not saying it was solely due to me, we hired Phil Kearns [the chief executive] and other good people who turned the culture around, which enabled us to sell it.”
He believes that investors want partnerships with their fund managers and advisors. “I deal with a number of fund managers and I tend to look at their relationships before the returns. I want a partnership, although obviously returns are important.”
An expert in disruptive technology and advisor to several startups, Shein says that digitization allows “a lot of the crap” to be taken away from advisors and others so they can concentrate on their relationships with clients.
This year’s Day of Confrontation is entitled ‘The Age of Entitlement is Dead’.
For information here
Even in the tech world, culture is key to success