EPN HQ @ Auguste Reyerslaan 207, 1030 Schaarbeek, België
EPN IT Platform organised a roundtable discussion with the participation of a successful IT entrepreneur, Murat KIRAN whose firm was named as the fastest growing IT Company in the Netherlands in 2009. His companies have generated an outstanding growth percentage of nearly 7000 % in the last 5 years.
Kiran has a very interesting life story. Before he moved to the Netherlands in 1997, he had nothing to do with ICT and even didn`t speak any word of Dutch at that time. Thanks to his motivation and vision, he completed an external training on ICT and now has 25 companies throughout the Netherlands.
He won prestigious awards as listed below:
* Dutch Skill-City Fastest Growing IT Company 2009
* The Other Businessman of the Year 2009
* Finalist Deloitte Technology Benelux Fast50 2010
* Finalist Deloitte Technology Benelux Fast50 2011
* The European Business Awards 2011
* The FD Gazelles Golden Award 2011
A Stranger in the Netherlands
Mr. Kiran is just another migrant who started his new life, almost from scratch, in another country. He first worked as a cleaning guy and then tried to find the challenge suitable to his own skills… Finding the right job is an incremental desire and his efforts helped him find the best sector for his future, that is IT sector. Although he used to be an anti-technology guy who hadn`t even touched a computer until 1997, his interest started growing rapidly as he realised that he had suitable skills for this area. Murat switched several jobs while educating himself in IT area and he was almost sure that he would be earning his life in that sector.
Being an entrepreneur is a journey
Mr. Kiran was a literature guy and he was even writing poems before starting his IT career. That was something unusual but the rule in entrepreneurship was that there was no rule. He attended local courses to learn basic Computer Programs like MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint but that simply wasn`t enough for him to be an IT guy in the sector. He benefited from European Social Fund, which helped him to reeducate himself in IT engineering and get IT engineering degree. Through this degree, he found a good job and started earning good money. A new life was starting for him at this last step… He was a freelancer from then on…
FINO is not a dog name!
Business is all about the risk but the least risky way of being an entrepreneur is working as freelancer. Every freelancer knows his market and actively searches a new contract as plan B. Murat didn`t follow that path and not worked only for one company because he was following the FINO principle, Failure Is Not an Option. If you are not afraid of failure, success is just a matter of time. Murat worked a lot during his freelance period for a variety of companies and established a great network with his clients. For him, networking was one of the main elements behind his success story. He explained the importance of it as saying: If you are not networking, you are not working. He didn`t have any website for his companies nor did he have any business card. He heavily depended upon his networking and building trust with the other people.
Team, not idea…
Even hardest problems have a solution but you are only one man. Murat was having a lot of troubleshooting requests from clients but he knew that One-Man-Show companies couldn’t scale. Instead of solving problems exclusively by himself, he tried to build his team and passed some contracts to his close friends. Over time, he was able to create a challenging team as he calls each team member as immortal. They increased rapidly in size. He established No Cure No Pay strategy during this period. That means, as long as we cannot fix the problem, we don`t get any payment at all even though we spend days or weeks on the project.
Murat`s Zoo definition
Murat`s team became 10 people and that really happened very quickly. The key factor of that growth was working in a ZOOorganisation, Zero Overhead Organisation. By definition, everyone does everything in such an organisation. Everyone was a business development manager, sales guy, account manager or chef in the kitchen. ZOO could be just a dream for some people but it happens if you find brilliant people. Murat managed to find them over time and created a great team. That was “good old days” but growing was bringing the pain as well. Sometimes, even moving from 10 to 11 people could cause lots of problems.
Growing is painful…
A growing organisation brings along several pains and even understanding those factors requires management skills and expertise. After employing 10 people, something had to change. Murat created 3 scenarios as a solution for his fast-growing company; buying another company, selling his company or a good merger with a successful company… He selected the third option and found a successful company to join the forces. Outcome was fantastic… The company became the fastest growing ICT company in 2009 in the Netherlands.
He continuously emphasized on the importance of customer satisfaction for which he used the term Customerism to better describe his business model. The customer is the foundation of his business’ success. He said his motto in Dutch: Dienen, bedienen en dan pas verdienen!
He invites people to discover how self-awareness unlocks personal empowerment. If you want a more fulfilling job, a new or better relationship, and more money… then look inside to your inner world. Knowing yourself is the first step.
Conclusion.nl is currently one of the main actors in Dutch ICT sector and expanding internationally with more than 1500 employees over 25 companies. We now know how Conclusion did it along the way but we also know that it is just beginning…
“As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.” Donald Trump