Welcome back to Work.It – the podcast all about entrepreneurship, inspiring founders and British business, brought to you by Work.Life and Angelica Malin. This podcast aims to inspire you for your own business journey; with hands-on advice, real stories and insider tips from some of the UK’s brightest entrepreneurs.
This week, Angelica is joined by Nana Parry, Founder and CEO of Metier Digital, whose agency helps to build cost effective apps and grow digital businesses.
Nana started his entrepreneurial journey young – charging friends to come to his birthday parties! His first ‘proper’ job was in IT project management, working for Japanese firm Fujitsu, working his way up to work for the CEO of the company “he basically taught me how he bought a billion-dollar business, which was amazing. I was put in a stretch roll, managing big projects at a young age”. Being immersed in a business of that size so early on was indispensable when it came to launching his own business: “getting such valuable insight into how a huge company is run, really gave me the confidence and tools to start my own business. Quitting, however, means you give up the regular pay check and security”.
Nana talks about the importance of persistence: “I kept trying to meet the CEO, for about 8 months. I just kept persevering and finally got a meeting with him. He became my mentor. So, basically you have to create your own luck”.
On the topic of building a business, he stresses the importance of client recommendation and word of mouth. He talks about not talking funding, and growing in an organic, natural way. On growth, he talks about hiring through network: “I’ve stopped looking at CVs. I now ask myself whether a potential hire fits in the culture of the company, and are they willing to learn”. He uses his network as much as possible – and hires intuitively.
When discussing diversity in entrepreneurship, Nana presses the need for greater representation in black and ethnic diversity groups within industries. He believes we need greater education around diversity in business within schools, and more grants and opportunities available to helping minorities to try businesses out, he says “there is a barrier for minorities and women in tech, but it’s about finding positive solutions around there”.
Listen here to the whole conversation and hear more about Metier Digital’s amazing journey, how they’ve shone and stayed successful in a highly competitive industry.