Mark Gibson, Capito
Discovering that the business already had a great culture was one of the key reasons why he decided to join Scottish technology provider Capito, says its Managing Director Mark Gibson.
- What does your business do?
We work with governments, health services, schools and businesses to deliver IT services, computing devices and software to end users such as students, patients and hospital staff. We have 55 employees and are headquartered in Livingston in Scotland.
- What was the inspiration for you joining the business?
Capito has been operating since 1990 so is a well-established business with a pedigree and strong presence. I joined the business two years ago because I thought that its existing capability and reputation was a bit of a hidden gem. I also thought it had a great existing culture which fitted very well with how I work.
I was very attracted by Capito’s potential to continue on the journey and build upon those three decades of reputation for service excellence and delivery. We were already known in the field of End-User-Computing Deployments but I saw an opportunity to expand on the other service areas in Capito’s portfolio, such as Security, Managed Services, IT Recycling and Data Destruction, Cloud Migration, Collaboration Tools, and Business Continuity.
- What has been the impact of the pandemic on your business and how have you dealt with this?
A week into the pandemic we decided to launch an initiative to help public sector and charitable organisations to work remotely. We realised that there was going to be a shortage of technology because everybody wanted to work from home and there wasn’t enough technology in the supply chain which was already challenged because of the chip shortages.
So we launched a call to action asking if anyone had legacy machines or older kit that were going unused. We got some fantastic donations from larger organisations so we took that technology, cleaned it up, repurposed it, and then gifted or loaned it to other organisations that needed it. This initiative helped public sector and charitable organisations in need, which in turn helped the most vulnerable in our community.
The pandemic has also allowed us to be more focused as a business. We have made sure that we are focused on where our core customers are, such as in government, health and education.
The challenge has been to keep innovating and maintaining the trust of our team and our partners because it is harder to communicate and understand people’s real motivations through video calls. However we actually beat our sales targets for the last two years and are very optimistic about this year.
- What has been the most difficult or challenging part of growing your business?
Hiring at the moment is challenging because people are a lot more cautious than they were about moving jobs.
- What key lesson have you learnt about setting up and growing a business?
Don’t expect success straight away and don’t try to do everything yourself. Hire the best people you can afford and then delegate and empower them, because there are only so many hours in the day.
- What has been your biggest mistake?
I have been bitten by hiring mistakes in the past.
- What has been the secret of your success so far?
I think I am authentic and pretty consistent, and I am an active communicator. Most people say I bring energy to the room, and as I have got older I have a confidence in my own decisions.
- What advice would you give an entrepreneur just starting out about how to grow their business?
Learn how to sell, or find a channel that can sell for you, because you can have the best operation and the best product but if you can’t sell that to your customers then you are in trouble.
- What personal quality or characteristic has been most useful to you as an entrepreneur as you grow your business?
- How does it feel to have been chosen as an SME Leader?
I was thrilled to receive this recognition and see it as a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Capito team, as well as the support of my own family.