The Most Promising CEOs of 2019


With an intent to honor the contributions and inspiring journey of some influential CEOs, Insights Success has curated a list of “The Most Promising CEOs of 2019”. These CEOs have set exemplary instances by shaping the future of their businesses.

Vol. 06 Issue. 06 June 2019





of 2019






Imparting Wisdom

Successful Personality

Traits to Learn from

Elon Musk

Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Sustaining Entrepreneurial

Sprit in the Modern Era

Bio Tech

Graphene: A Material

Marvel of the Century


Towards Promising Future

or any individual at a coveted position like that of CEO of any organization, running a business is not a cake

Fwalk; it is full of responsibilities, challenges, and complexities. It takes a deep perseverance, ingenuity, and a

strong business acumen, accompanied with a compelling vision to fill the space of the role of a CEO.

Implementing these traits, the person who climbs the corporate ladder is the one who earns such respected positions.

To quote a famous author, Stephen Covey, “Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.” This statement better

defines the true essence of being a CEO. In reflecting upon what a team can do, and harnessing that potential in the time

of need, dwells the proficiency of a CEO.

A CEO is known for his or her ability to see beyond the challenges of today and sculpt a picture of tomorrow. John C.

Maxwell has exquisitely stated “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” The journey of

a CEO sums up well through these lines.

Be it countering an issue, identifying a new opportunity or handling a high-risk situation, how one reacts to these

situations is very significant in business today. And an efficient reaction to these complicated situations is what

comprehends the role of a modern CEO making them stand out from the rest.

With an intent to honor the contributions and inspiring journey of some influential CEOs, Insights Success has curated

a list ofThe Most Promising CEOs of 2019”. These CEOs have set exemplary instances by shaping the future of

their businesses.

More than a designation, being CEO is a moral

responsibility that makes things happen.

Ishan Mittal

These leaders have acquired all the necessary skills, such as vision, perseverance, dedication, and the ability to inspire

and nurture, that are important to thrive in businesses. They also bring the expertise, confidence, and a deep business

acumen that they have accumulated through their journey.

A pioneer in the digital payments sector, Dr. Andy Khawaja, the CEO and Founder of Allied Wallet, features as the

cover story of this edition. One of the world’s leading online payment-processing service providers, Allied Wallet offers

digital wallets, merchant payment solutions, and prepaid card programs. Under the direction of Dr. Andy Khawaja,

Allied Wallet has expanded from its initial West Hollywood, California, location to include offices in global hubs such

as Macau, Hong Kong, and London while serving more than 150 million customers around the world.

Delve into some inspiring stories and lessons from many such significant CEOs in this issue and reap the fruits of

motivation. Also, make sure to scroll through the articles written by our in-house editorial team and CXO standpoints

of some of the leading industry experts to have a brief taste of the sector.

Happy reading!




Imparting Wisdom

Successful Personality

Traits to Learn from

Elon Musk






Sprit in the

Modern Era


Dr. Andy


A Pioneer in the Digital

Payments Sector


Bio Tech

Graphene: A Material

Marvel of

the Century

16 28 40

Pitching Excellence

Edwin Tay:

Strong Entrepreneurial

Professional and Mentor

Leader’s Talk

Gregg Rotenberg:

Leading from the front

by Stephanie Cooper

Expert’s Outlook

Rob Leslie:

Leading by Example


22 26

Austin Rosenfeld:

Turning a Vision

into Reality

Anton Baranchuk:

Transforming Data into Insightful

and Actionable Information

Through Smart Visualization

Gary Olson:

A Trailblazer Bringing

Vision to Reality

32 38

Ingo Ernst:

Exemplifying Steadiness,

Stability, and the Ability

to Motivate Innovation



An Expert in

Logistics Management

Nicole Martin:

A Leader to Rely for Human

Resource Management


Pooja M. Bansal

Managing Editor

Anish Miller

Executive Editor

Hitesh Dhamani

Assistant Editors

Jenny Fernandes

Kaustav Roy


David King

Art & Design Director

Amol Kamble

Associate Designer

Iresh Mathapati


Rahul Kavanekar

Senior Sales Manager Co-designer

Kshitij S

Business Development Manager

Peter Collins

Marketing Manager

John Matthew

Sales Executives

David, Kevin, Mark

Technical Head

Jacob Smile

Business Development Executives

Steve, Joe, Alan, Vishal

Technical Specialist


Digital Marketing Manager

Marry D’Souza

SME-SMO Executive

Prashant Chevale

Research Analyst

Calvin Jones

Circulation Manager

Database Management Technology Consultant

Robert Brown Stella Andrew David Stokes

June, 2019

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Reprint rights remain solely with Insights Success.

Cover Story

Dr. Andy Khawaja

Founder & CEO

Dr. Andy Khawaja

A Pioneer in the Digital Payments Sector

Allied Wallet always stays ve steps

ahead of the game.

Successful organiza ons are built by the exemplary

leadership of the CEOs of the companies. Great

leaders of the organiza on lead by se ng the

example worthy of emula on. Leadership is essen al

ingredient to the success of any organiza on. Generally

leadership is about being passionate for the right purposes

and being focused. CEOs of the great organiza ons are

resilient, hardworking, dedicated, and courageous. Great

CEOs help their organiza on move ahead even if there are

doubts from others around them. They are ready to go

beyond the comfort zone of safety. Great leaders don’t get

trapped by the seduc on of safety. Exemplary CEOs

consider that seduc on of safety is more dangerous than

the percep on of the risk. Great leaders take calculated

risks and they make best of the available opportuni es.

Courage, competence, and energy is contagious and it gets

imprinted on the other people in the organiza on.

Therefore it is essen al for the CEOs of the organiza on to

have these quali es to lead the organiza on effec vely.

The organiza ons are always in need to have a genuinely

exemplary leader to lead from the front and create a

profitable organiza on.

A pioneer in the digital payments sector, Dr. Andy Khawaja

has led as CEO and Founder of Allied Wallet since he

founded the company in 2005. One of the world’s leading

online payment-processing service providers, Allied Wallet

offers digital wallets, merchant payment solu ons, and

prepaid card programs. Under the direc on of Dr. Andy

Khawaja, Allied Wallet has expanded from its ini al West

Hollywood, California, loca on to include offices in global

hubs such as Macau, Hong Kong, and London while serving

more than 150 million customers around the world.

In addi on to his work in the digital payments sector, Dr.

Andy Khawaja stands out as a mo va onal speaker who

has given talks and seminars at such interna onal

universi es as Zayed University, Abu Dhabi University, and

Lebanese American University, as well as conferences

including the World Lithuanian Youth Summit. His

experience in the Middle East has also made him a soughta

er consultant on topics related to global banking.

A commi ed member of the community, Dr. Andy Khawaja

supports nonprofit groups such as the United Service

Organiza ons, Wounded Warrior Project, and the Brent

Shapiro Founda on. Through his leadership posi on at

Allied Wallet, he also organizes a range of corporate

philanthropic and fundraising ini a ves.

Below are the highlights of the interview between Dr. Andy

Khawaja and Insights Success.

Give a brief overview of your background and evolu on

into a CEO.

From a very young age, I had an entrepreneurial spirit in

my bones. I’ve always been a leader and I’ve always had

the passion to work hard and reach my goals. But my first

ambi on to become a CEO came from my thirst for

improvement in the way people do business. I wanted to

create and innovate new methods for people to safely,

securely, and simply accept payments. I had a vision, and I

worked very hard to make that vision a reality.

How do you diversify your organiza on’s offerings to

appeal to the target audience?

Allied Wallet is a globally recognized payment services

company, and we enable businesses in 196 countries to

succeed by simplifying their payment acceptance solu ons

and enabling them to accept nearly any payment method.

We specialize in mul -currency solu ons, state-of-the-art

fraud protec on, and we lead the industry in innova on

because we’ve created a payment services company that

connects so many different payment methods. Whether

you need online credit card processing, mobile point of

sale, a digital wallet solu on, prepaid cards, or even ACH –

we can do it and you’ll have it all in one easy to manage

system. We make it simple to make money in an industry

that can be very complicated and confusing. That’s the

beauty in Allied Wallet.

Describe some of the vital a ributes that every CEO

should possess.

A CEO’s journey is never easy and running a global business

requires a lot of dedica on and hard work even in the face

of doubt from others around you. But it has been a

beau ful journey. I’ve been able to see businesses improve

and succeed and increase their profit beyond their dreams

and this is sa sfying for me. Making a difference and

“ We’re positioned very

well in the market and

no one can offer all

that we offer all in one

great solution.

crea ng a solu on that truly helps

entrepreneurs like me is very fulfilling.

Every CEO should be resilient.

What were the past experiences,

achievements or lessons that have

shaped your journey?

The story at Allied Wallet has been a

story of success. I call it success

because there were definitely

obstacles in my way as I started the

company. Many financial ins tu ons

and older industry execu ves doubted

me. But we proved what we could do

and we innovated the industry for

people all over the world. That is

something that will never stop with

Allied Wallet. We always innovate for

the curve; and some mes, we make

the curve and innovate the industry as

leaders. But with payments becoming

more and more digital and augmented

and virtual reality experiences right

around the corner, we are innova ng

how the payment space will

support that.

In terms of market competency, how

do you strive for your organiza on to

be in a leading posi on?

The digital payments industry is only

going to get bigger. You see more

people paying with cards or with apps,

not cash, and that means more people

everything our merchants do is safe,

fast, and scalable. We’re posi oned

very well in the market and no one can

offer all that we offer all in one great

solu on.

What were the primal challenges and

roadblocks you faced during the

ini al phase of your career as a CEO?

Unlike the other processing

companies, we didn’t start with

Follow your

dreams and

work from

the heart.

transac ons. This is one of our biggest

strengths. We are the e-commerce

experts. We know how to prevent

fraud, and we have a proprietary scrub

system that protects merchants and

customers alike.

Where do you see yourself in the near

future and what are your future


Our short-term plans are to increase

the amount of payment methods we

support and con nue leading the

industry in global connec vity. We also

have many new features and

func onali es that we plan to release.

It’s important for us to simultaneously

innovate and protect users globally.

In five years, Allied Wallet will have at

least doubled its current size. Our

growth rate is amazing and we will

con nue to grow. I see Allied Wallet

con nuing its path to global leadership

in payments and industry innova on. I

also see Allied Wallet and myself

pursuing more charitable,

philanthropic efforts to make the

world a be er place.

will need a way to send payments

electronically. Allied Wallet is

constantly improving and crea ng new

products so that we can stay at the top

of the game as one of the world’s most

reliable processors.

Allied Wallet always stays five steps

ahead of the game. Our technology

lets business owners reach their

dreams without limi ng them, and our

state of the art security features keep

out the fraud transac ons so that

investor funding. Allied Wallet was

built using my own funds because I

believe in this company, and with hard

work and dedica on from our team,

we created one of the most successful

processing companies in the world


One of the biggest issues with e-

commerce is the lack of knowledge

and understanding with the industry.

Many banks don’t know how to handle

merchants and e-commerce

What is your advice for budding and

emerging CEOs?

I would like to say to all of the

entrepreneurs out there that a vision

and hard work is the key to success. If

you work hard, and put in the effort

and the me, nothing can stop you

from reaching your goals. Every day

you don’t use to work towards your

goal day is a day wasted, work for your

future every day.


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Edwin Tay

Strong Entrepreneurial Professional and Mentor

Edwin Tay

CEO & Co-founder

Take good care of

your clients and they

will help grow your

business. A growing

business will in turn

enable better support

for your employees;

who will in-turn

provide better service

to your clients.

16 |June 2019

Pitching Excellence

n an Interview with Insights

ISuccess, Edwin Tay, CEO and

Co-founder of EasyUni Sdn

Bhd, shares contribution of him

through EasyUni which is Asia’s

leading education site. Edwin along

with his team helps students and

parents search, compare, shortlist,

prioritize, and apply to universities or

colleges of their choice. He started

EasyUni with the aim of making the

process of choosing a university easier

for potential students. He is

experienced Start-up founder with a

demonstrated history of working in the

digital marketing, internet and

education industry. He is Skilled in

Marketing Management, Digital

Strategy, Start-ups, and Advertising.

He provides mentorship and advice to

other young startups.

Below are the highlights of the

interview between Edwin Tay and

Insights Success.

Give a brief overview of your

background as a CEO.

I’m 45 this year. Graduated as a

Materials Engineer and was working as

an R&D Engineer before I left and

started my first company called

Netinfinium. This was back in 2000.

Netinfinium is a digital agency and

email technology company. Led and

grew the company for 10 years before

finally exiting via trade sale, after


which I started EasyUni, my 2

startup. On the side, I also mentor

other startup founders that came my

way, sharing my experience and

knowledge of the market, funding and

operational strategies. I am also an

Endeavor Entrepreneur

(, working to give

back to the community, as I have

benefited tremendously from many

hours of help rendered to me by many

mentors through the years.

How do you diversify your

organization’s offerings to appeal to

the target audience?

For us, it’s not just the quantity of

information (institution database) but

also localization of content – is key to

providing good user experience. Hence

for those non-Anglophone countries,

we localize our content and

information – not only by translating

the content into local language but by

having a local indigenous content

writer to write original contents to suit

the local psyche and style of writing.

We find that this not only helps our

user experience but also helps improve

our ranking on search engines.

Describe some of the vital attributes

that every CEO should possess.

Ability to see the bigger picture and

communicate ideas/strategies to rally

followers to be aligned with the overall

objective. Able to see intrinsic

strengths in your people and utilizing

it. Work smart and inspire your team

and organization to constantly be better

tomorrow. Work harder than yesterday

if you want a better tomorrow.

How do you strategize your game

plans to tackle competition in the


Our niche and strength is our location.

We are in a hurry to entrench ourselves

deeper into the region and win the

market, by having on-ground local

presence with local staffs. We have

done so in Malaysia and Middle East

and are now replicating our success in

Vietnam and Indonesia. In addition, we

tend to look forward and chart our path

for the future; more than looking over

our shoulders at our competitors. Our

biggest competitor is ourselves. How

do we ensure we constantly improve

ourselves and provide better

value/service to our clients the

students? If we get that right, we are

confident things will sort out by itself

and EasyUni will grow.

What were the primal challenges

and roadblocks you faced during the

initial phase of your career as a


There was a lot of trial and error


initially. I started my 1 company when

I was 26 years old. Being young, I did

not have extensive network to rely on.

In addition, there wasn’t any structure

in place to help young entrepreneurs.

Not many investors are ready to invest

in un-proven startups. You would have

to quickly be profitable or you would

have to close down. The co-founders

and I had to hustle and grow the

company in any way we could. As our

business grew, so does our network

and experience

Where do you see yourself in the

near future and what are your future


EasyUni is growing well but there is

still so much more to be done. I am

currently busy growing our managers

and identifying future leaders to help

propel EasyUni to the next level.

Ultimately our goal is to be the No.1

platform that students in South East

Asia and Middle East goes to, when

searching for tertiary institutions.

What is your advice for budding and

emerging CEO’s?

Truly understand why you want to start

your own company. It can be any

reason and it can even change as time

pass by. Just remember to constantly

remind yourself of this reason and

persist in chasing it. Be humble always

and don’t be shy to ask for help and to

give help. Treat your staffs as your

business partners that should profit

from the growth and not as steppingstones

to your goals. Take good care of

them, and they will in turn take good

care of you and your company. June 2019| 17



Transforming Data into Insightful and Actionable

Information Through Smart Visualization

Business acumen when accompanied with technical

knowledge makes an ultimate combination that can

take IT companies to the new heights. Anton

Baranchuk, CEO at AnyChart America, is one such

blend of business and technical expertise, who has been

transforming the industry with his novel approaches.

Inception Tale

AnyChart was started in 2003, at the times of Adobe Flash

and the early age of the Extensible Markup Language (or

simply XML), when future AnyChart teammates realized

that literally any data from literally any source can be

extracted in the XML format and then be interactively

visualized using the Adobe Flash technology.

Implementation of this approach laid the foundation of the

AnyChart business. Flash was everywhere, so indeed

AnyChart succeeded as a one-fits-all data visualization tool.

Back in the 2000s, both Flash and XML were on the rise

while still quite young, meaning the company had to deal

with a number of inherent bugs, security shortcomings, and

other issues. That is where the first big clients appeared to

be of great help.

“When Oracle introduced our data visualization component

in APEX, we started getting a whole lot of feedback from

users, which greatly helped us in quickly shaping our

product development, technical support, and business

tactics to the best possible extent. So I can say it was

essentially important for us as a tech business to quickly

roll out a product and earn our first big clients,”

Anton recalls.

Sharp Curve to New Success

AnyChart managed to take lead in interactive data

visualization. But after the fall of Flash as a universally

18 |June 2019

used environment, the company had to switch to HTML5,

which was a huge challenge. Finally, AnyChart added

support of SVG and released the first version of its

JavaScript charting library.

Nowadays, the company continues to support its Flashbased

charting components. However, the vast majority of

AnyChart’s customers already adhere to HTML5, the

backbone technology of the contemporary web.

Acknowledging what their entire team already did to get

where it is currently positioned, Anton proudly asserts: “I

am happy we’ve done it with such a success and are

currently among the few absolute leaders in the global

interactive data visualization software market.”

He adds: “It is crucial for a technology company to stay in

the know of what’s going on out there, predict any possible

changes that can affect it, follow the trends, and of course,

always do your best to fully satisfy the needs of your clients

at all times. That’s the way we have been and will keep

doing our best to follow.”

Flexible Data Visualization Solutions

Now, AnyChart is a flexible JavaScript (HTML5) solution

that allows businesses to create interactive and great

looking charts of any kind out of any data — in full

accordance with what the name “AnyChart” implicits. It is

fully cross-browser and cross-platform, intended for

everybody who deals with the creation of dashboards,

reporting, analytics, statistical, financial or any other

visualizations for the purpose of smart, data-driven decision

making. Graphics rendering in AnyChart is powered by

GraphicsJS, AnyChart’s own open-source JS library for

SVG/VML-based graphics and animation.

AnyChart JS charts work everywhere including PCs, Macs,

iPhones, iPads, and Android devices, enabling businesses to

transform operational data into insightful, actionable


Prominently delivering a powerful JavaScript charting

engine, the company markets it as a product family

comprising four JS visualization libraries, each inherently

optimized to serve a specific data viz purpose: AnyChart —

for basic charts (over 70 chart types are available out-ofthe-box),

AnyMap — for maps and seat charts, AnyStock

— for stock and financial charts, or basically any date/time

charts, AnyGantt — for project and resource charts (Gantt,

PERT, etc.). But essentially it is one versatile data

visualization tool.

Leading Data Visualization Globally

Anton’s constant efforts as the CEO at AnyChart America,

the company’s forefront, resulted in framing AnyChart

among the global leaders of data visualization tools.

AnyChart has earned more than 75% of the Fortune 500

members and over half of the top 1,000 software vendors

worldwide. Overall, thousands of companies and

organizations use AnyChart, including enterprise giants like

Oracle, Microsoft, Samsung, Volkswagen, Bosch,

McDonald’s, Reuters, Rolex, Lockheed Martin, and many

others. Also, it has been widely recognized by technology

experts worldwide and received multiple awards for the

best and most promising in JavaScript and data


going to work best in each particular case.”

Invaluable Advice

Considering the essential attributes of leadership, Anton

asserts: “I believe maybe the most important thing is

openness, in the widest sense. To your teammates. To your

customers. To new ideas, experiences, and information in

general. Then, analyze what you’ve learned or thought

about and think how it can actually be applied in what you

are doing, and not only for now but also for later stages.”

Anton advises aspiring entrepreneurs to analyze the overall

market and think several steps ahead to withstand the

complexities. He believes that in order to experience a

principle work-ethical environment, a professional and

enthusiastic team really matters. Addressing a proverb

saying “Fall seven times and stand up eight,” Anton asserts:

“Don’t give up if something goes worse than expected and

in case of any failures.”

Bright Future for AnyChart

With many thousands of happy clients, from startups to

corporate giants, AnyChart’s future plans are about working

more and more to make the company’s data visualization

solutions even better and further justify the trust of

the customers.

This year has been particularly exciting for the company.

AnyChart has recently announced their new technology

alliance partnership with Qlik, adding three new product

extensions for Qlik Sense. The partnership enables Qlik's

community of data analysts to be provided with more than

30 new chart types and features such as tooltips natively in

the Qlik environment, with no coding required.

Keeping Up with Trends is Essential

Anton believes that in this fast-paced industry it has always

been essential for the technologists to keep up with the

tech-enabled trends.

Emphasizing upon AnyChart’s distinctiveness in the

market, he asserts: “Due to a big number of ideas and

solutions out there in almost every single field, it is

important to properly analyze everything and see what’s

AnyChart empowers people

and companies worldwide

to let their data speak

Anton Baranchuk

CEO at AnyChart America June 2019| 19

Austin Rosenfeld

Turning a Vision into Reality

Acompelling vision, accompanied by the ability

to see beyond the challenges of today and sculpt

a picture of tomorrow, is what fuels success.

Carrying such qualities, Austin Rosenfeld, the Founder

and CEO of Macedon Technologies, has set his

company on a mission to transform businesses digitally.

Austin started his career as a software developer. He was

one of the first team members working on a new

software platform at Appian—who provides a low-code

development platform that accelerates the creation of

high-impact business applications—and realized that

very few people understood how to use it. A natural born

leader, Austin started Macedon and set out to hire the

most suitable and capable staff. He built a consulting

company with in-depth knowledge in the Appian

platform, solving real-world business problems. This

approach paid off quickly. Macedon Technologies has

grown considerably over the past decade and has offices

in both Reston, VA, and in Austin, TX. Austin, together

with his team has established a flourishing business with

significant footprints in the financial services,

manufacturing, education, energy, and pharmaceutical


Accelerating Digital Transformation

Austin notes that the organization has honed a lot of

expertise in the Appian platform and has applied that

skillset across a diverse clientele. “We compete in

several markets, we can show large enterprises we

understand their IT processes,” Austin says. “Using our

analytical skills, we can quickly build a demo

application, showing the power of the software.” For

large, complex applications with multiple complicated

integrations—or processes across several

divisions—Macedon provides specialized services that

focus on resolving these challenges, scaling operations

collectively with the client.

For government clients, Macedon has amassed an

impressive number of certifications and credentials in the

Appian space and has teamed up with organizations that

have significant government project experience. For

smaller commercial firms, Macedon starts as a

consultant, first analyzing their IT landscape finding the

best fit for Appian. Small businesses find Macedon’s

hybrid roles incredibly valuable.

Keeping an Ample Bench to Support Growth

Balancing the twin pipelines of recruiting and sales is a

considerable challenge, particularly for start-ups. Since

its inception, Macedon has tried to keep an adequate

bench to support its growth and invests a lot in training

resources and retaining a healthy and agile bench. Now

that the company has turbocharged its recruiting

machine, it can hire dozens of people a year and support

all of its priorities more efficiently. Macedon currently

has over 100 employees and is set to reach 150 by the

end of this year.

Striving to Reach New Milestones

"The Appian platform continues to grow in scope and

popularity, and it is moving into adjacent areas including

Robotic Process Automation and DevOps,” Austin says.

“We see clients take on more ambitious digital

22 |June 2019


Focus on execution,

and everything else

will fall into place.

transformation initiatives allowing us to serve as holistic

consultants, contrary to the past when enterprise

applications were often built in silos.” As an authorized

Appian Reseller, Macedon provides the full platform

capabilities to small- and medium-sized businesses as

well, equipping them with the same power to advance

their technology and harness efficiencies as they grow.

Austin’s focus is on building Macedon’s expertise, rather

than getting distracted by competitors. Austin says, “We

want to generate great ideas that add value for our

customers, not worry about the competition.”

Enlightening Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Austin believes that vision and leadership are vital

attributes a CEO must possess. “Leaders should have the

ability to tell people ‘here is how we are going to climb

that next hill’ and get everyone to come along

enthusiastically,” he reflects. “A leader has to energize

the team. The reason why I am so actively involved in

every hiring decision is my dedication to building the

right team to execute the vision.” Austin firmly believes

that the CEO has to set the tone for the culture. “At

Macedon, I’d like to think we are all nerds. Most of us

have computer science degrees, and we tend to have a

lot of traits that go with that,” he adds. We have a Harry

Potter theme around the office, play pranks on each

other, and try to have fun as much as we can!”

Austin Rosenfeld

Founder & CEO

Macedon Technologies

Austin’s advice for emerging entrepreneurs: “Try to see

your business from all angles at once. A spreadsheet that

adds up is great, but you need to see how and when the

team needs to grow, what customers expect, and where to

find them. Ask yourself which processes need to scale

beyond what you can handle in a spreadsheet, so when

you are in over your head, you can rely on a good CPA,

lawyer, or other specialists.” June 2019| 23



Traits to Learn from

Elon Musk

Legends never need an introduction. They tend to be

victorious despite of their uneventful histories. They

stick to captivating traits such as Discipline,

determination and self-belief which help them accomplish

wonders in the long run. One such example of an extraordinary

person is Elon Musk, a South African Business

Magnate, Investor and an engineer.

Musk is the founder, CEO, and chief architect of SpaceX;

co-founder, CEO, and product designer of Tesla Inc.; and

co-founder and CEO of Neuralink. As of February 2018, he

is the 53rd-richest person in the world and has a net worth

of $20.8 billion, which is far more than the net GDP of

Greece taken into consideration.

While each entrepreneur possesses a unique set of traits that

makes him/her successful, this Tech founder has a few traits

much different from any other ordinary CEO, which has

allowed him to build some of the world’s most respected

and innovative organizations. Musk once quoted, “When

something is important enough, you do it even if the odds

are not in your favor.”

Let’s have a look on these personality attributes and

characteristics that make him a contender for the most

innovative intellectual entrepreneur of the century alive.

Hard-work and Characteristic Work Ethics

Elon Musk is a hard-working innovator, working for about

100 hours a week, and has been productive since many

years. He may even be considered as the hardest working

employee of the company, setting standards for his

colleagues to follow and implement. Since the field of work

lies inside his radius of interests, he enjoys it to every

moment and bit when it comes to learning and execution.

Strong Risk Tolerance

Founding a start-up involves a great deal of uncertainty and

risk. A study found that after 10 years of being in business,

96 percent of the start-ups fail. Going by the statistics,

Musk must have faced the same odds against him, when he

had decided to leave an otherwise comfortable life to start a

risky and uncertain business venture.

For instance, Musk left his PhD program at Stanford

University to find a company called Zip2 with his brother in

the year 1995. Later, the company was sold to Compaq

computers, profiting Musk a bit over $20 million.

Following this, Musk once again took a great risk by

investing millions of dollars to found a company called, one of the world’s first online banks.

‘Always Be Learning’ Attitude

An astounding and less-known fact about Elon Musk is that

he is self-taught in programming and in many advanced

level subjects. He read and understood a variety of books,

which helped him gain endless and persistent knowledge

and understand diverse concepts.

The best piece of advice on learning and implementation is

to constantly think about how things could be done in a

better manner and question self to seek the answers.

24 |June 2019

Imparting Wisdom

Feedback Loop

It is of prime importance to recognize the present symbol or

otherwise ‘status quo’ in the market as an organization and

re-position accordingly. Musk solicits constant feedback of

the companies and executes ‘self-analysis.’ He induces

efforts and divergent strategies to improve customer

feedbacks and strives towards perfectionism.

For example, he seeks out his critics and tries to converse

with them. This habit of self-reflection at regular and

considerable periods is pivotal for any entrepreneur or

organization to succeed in the long run.

Tendency for Vertical Integration

Vertical integration is a strategy where an organization or a

firm acquires business operations within the same product

vertical. Both Tesla and SpaceX embrace this concept. For

example, Tesla not only produces electric cars; they also

generate public awareness about their cars via Tesla

showrooms across various countries. And SpaceX does not

only have the primary goal of rocket propulsions; they

develop their own rocket architecture as well.

Faith in Self and the Founding Team

Musk undoubtedly possesses a profound belief in his own

capabilities as well as the potential-seeking factor of its

founding team. He does not hesitate to gamble on large

scale unless he is genuinely aware of the expected endresults.

It is equally essential to maintain clarity of doubt in any

large scale organization. Under his supervision, Musk

encourages in creating a positive and comprehensive

environment across his firms.

Preferring to Stand Out From the Crowd

Musk elects to bring up innovation at every level of his

understanding. He tends to impart theoretical knowledge at

the base level, applying changes and executing the same on

the practical level. He relies more on transitional aspects

such as research and development, thereby increasing the

probability of ground-breaking inventions.

Tesla Motors, a far headed firm headed by Elon Musk, is

anti-ordinary. Its compelling marketplace has become a

one-stop destination for potential buyers where they can

interact about product specifications. They also have video

testimonials that far outperform in the sales-dominated


There is no ambiguity that Musk, by far, has been a pillar of

inspiration for budding entrepreneurs and investors because

of his prolific and optimistic approach towards life

All these traits possessed by Musk, in some manner or the

other, coincide with most of your habits. The only thing that

stands as a potential barrier between these two is

identifying your strengths and working on them on a

continual basis. Go on, apply these traits into your daily

life, and you may become the next big CEO the world is in

need of today! June 2019| 25

Gary Olson

A Trailblazer Bringing Vision

to Reality

Gary Olson


n an interview with Insights Success, Gary Olson,

ICEO of GHO Group LLC shares his valuable

insights from the experiences he gained in his

entrepreneurial journey. Moreover, he broadly discusses

the services offered by the company.

Below are the highlights of the interview conducted

between Gary and Insights Success:

Give a brief overview of your background as a CEO.

While I was engaged launching a satellite transmission

facility and part of the team launching the first video

fiber network, I was asked to design a new shopping

network. I used this opportunity to start my first

company. We began designing and launching new

satellite and television cable networks. In the early days

of Internet, we designed the first live cable news

network with a person doing real time on air research.

As my company continued to grow and we received

requests from visionaries starting television networks in

countries that did not have commercial television, only

state TV. We designed and launched the first

commercial television in Trindad and sucessfully

designed, built and launched new national television

“When asked

if it can be done -

Always answer

Yes and always

get it done -

(don’t get caught)!”

26 |June 2019

networks in Czech, Poland, Romania and Slovenia.

Building on that success, I built GHO Group a boutique

consulting company that provides strategic guidance,

technology design and project management in media and

broadcast technology. Helping companies implement and

adopt to computer based media from proprietary


How do you diversify your organization's offerings to

appeal to the target audience?

GHO has a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills. This

enables GHO to offer a large variety of services. These

include but are not limited to designing new systems,

project management, strategic guidance in technology

decision making, budgeting, RFP development and

technology adoption.

Describe some of the vital attributes that every CEO

should possess.

Building a company is the same as building a team. As the

CEO, you are leader, visionary, coach and deal maker. A

good CEO understands their own strengths and surrounds

themselves with strong competent people who can

collaborate and work together. One of my favorite

expressions is “I don't need to know everything, I just need

to know who to call!”

The term CEO or definition of a Chief Executive Officer

has changed with start-ups and small businesses. My father

was a business owner and had partners – no titles. Small

and mid-size companies had presidents and vice presidents.

Public corporations had CEO's. Now every size business

entity has a CEO.

How do you strategize your game plans to tackle

competition in the market?

By continuing to learn and explore new technologies and

the application of new technologies. One example is the

need to have cyber security in the media ecosystem. I am

part of a security task force in the live sports technology

industry. As machine learning deep learning and artificial

intelligence are becoming familiar terms, it's important to

fully understand the technology and where it is applicable.

What were the primal challenges and roadblocks you

faced during the initial phase of your career as a CEO?

It is always challenging finding the right talent that can

collaborate and support each other. Being the CEO is a

combination of knowing when to do and when to delegate.

As the company grows, it is critical to allow people to do

their jobs and support them. A good manager takes a step

back, not micro manages, letting others learn and grow.

Where do you see yourself in the near future and what

are your future goals?

I have been accused of re-inventing GHO and myself every

few years. We are going thru a change phase now, moving

into artificial intelligence and into a new industry sector of

Public Safety and Security. I am in the process of building

my next business as we are applying our extensive media

knowledge to an industry overwhelmed by video and

struggling to analyze it for useable information in the

prevention of incidents and attacks.

What is your advice for budding and emerging CEO’s?

Recognizing strengths in people and encouraging and

empowering their development creates a team to solve

problems. A large organization is like a pyramid, if you are

at the top you can see what’s happening across the

organizations and manage. If the pyramid is upside down

because the CEO is also doing everything, they are crushed

by the weight of the organization.

I have an eclectic background and am one of the few people

who always worked for myself building my own businesses

in my professional career. My career has been spent solving

interesting challenges that typically look outside of the box

for innovative solutions. I am both a visionary and help

visionaries realize their ideas. June 2019| 27



Leading from the front

—by Stephanie Cooper

& Shari Sanders

o lead from the front – you

Thave to trust your team.” Gregg

Rotenberg, President and CEO

of Smart Wires, believes that a strong

team thrives on a combination of

freedom and responsibility: “It’s a bit

of a risk, but the rewards pay off.” For

Rotenberg, a leader is visibly engaged

at the front lines; that is right where he

needs to be, in order to generate the

momentum he needs to focus on the

big picture which is a mission to save

the planet. Smart Wires has developed

an innovative technology that

meaningfully improves the efficiency

of today’s power grids around the

globe. We deploy our revolutionary

technologies to “re-route power”

around overloaded lines and address

the most serious problems challenging

our transmission system.

Rotenberg finds that a culture based in

freedom and responsibility guarantees

rapid innovation combined with

systematic execution. Smart Wires

doesn’t track hours worked per day or

per week. Following Rotenberg’s lead,

the focus is on what you can get done

for the people who are counting on you

to succeed. Smart Wires’ highest

performers thrive on the freedom to do

their jobs without tight supervision.

Designated superstars, these

contributors grow their roles to fit their

passions, while always balancing the

needs of the organization and their


Consequently, Smart Wires spares no

effort to identify superstars during the

application and interview process. The

unique application process tests an

applicant’s ability to have a keen sense

of detail, be forward with their

accomplishments but also express an

ego-less attitude. Every candidate is

offered the same experience when

applying for any position at Smart

Wires because the bar is set extremely

high and only the true Superstars who

are willing to go the extra mile truly

shine. Part of the application process

requires the candidate to create a deck

presentation answering five questions.

There are no rules other than to answer

the questions, but we encourage

everyone who make it to this step to be

as creative and analytical as they want.

This assignment not only challenges

them to think outside the box but also

introduces them to Smart Wires very

special culture and gives them another

way to engage with several members

of the leadership team.

Headquartered at the Jim Davis Global

Research Center in Silicon Valley,

Smart Wires actively cultivates the

kind of mentorship Rotenberg most

values. It all starts with the Guiding

Principles that make up the basis of

Smart Wires culture. Rotenberg

encourages his team to actively include

Smart Wires’s Guiding Principles in

everyday conversation. “If you ever

want to discuss our GPs with me, send

me an email with the subject line GPs,

and I promise you I will engage.”

Rotenberg not only lives by these

Guiding Principles, he ensures that all

candidates looking to join the team

read and understand them, before

continuing conversations in the hiring

process. The 11 Guiding Principles are:

Safety, Judgment, Communication,

Impact, Curiosity, Innovation,

Selflessness, Passion, Integrity,

Courage and Do No Harm to the Grid.

Rotenberg and the entire team believes

these practices give Smart Wires the

best chance at changing the world.

Rotenberg’s mission-oriented focus,

backed by a culture that gives a high

level of responsibility coupled with

trust, empowers Smart Wires’

contributors to act like true owners. It

gives the person owning the task or

project the responsibility to take it

across the finish line but also strive for

the good of the organization and

mission as a whole. “By hiring

Superstars we are consistently securing

incredible additions to our team who

bring new ideas and help drive our

mission forward.”

28 |June 2019

Leader’s Talk

About the Leader

Gregg Rotenberg is the President and CEO at

Smart Wires Inc. a Silicon Valley company

dedicated to providing grid optimization

solutions for electric utilities worldwide. This

unique product essentially acts as a “valve” on

the transmission line, allowing the manager of

the grid to route power to where it is needed


Prior to joining Smart Wires, Gregg led the

Strategic Alliances Group at Chevron Energy

Solutions (and Chevron’s Renewable Power

Group). His Strategic Alliances team carefully

reviewed over 1000 companies in clean-tech

over that time period and they identified only

three companies that they believed were truly

"game changing" to the clean technology

industry. One of those three “game changing”

companies was Smart Wires.

“We believe that Smart Wires will ultimately

change how power grids are managed at


every utility in the world. Smart Wires

solutions allow utilities to “route” power

to where it is

needed, ending the days where

electricity just flows to the path of

least resistance inherent in the grid.

The result will be higher reliability in

our power grids, with considerably

lower cost of power and significantly

expanded use of renewable energy,”

said Rotenberg.

He is passionate about developing

strategy and building a

remarkable team committed to

making the world

a better place.

Gregg Rotenberg


at Smart Wires Inc. June 2019| 29

Ingo Ernst

Exemplifying Steadiness, Stability,

and the Ability to Motivate Innovation

CEO’s that emerge and manage businesses that

engage in our ever-changing, fast-paced global

online ecosystem require significant virtues

composed of steadiness, stability, and the ability to motivate

innovation. They are constantly managing outside forces

from savvy competitors, technology demands, investor

relations, regulatory evolution, and economic changes.

Nonetheless, they are empowered to keep driving change in

a continuous and steadfast manner. Ingo Ernst, the CEO of

4Stop, and a committed Fintech entrepreneur has proven

these significant virtues alongside his unwavering, modest

leadership style.

From the conception of 4Stop back in 2016, he has been a

driving force to 4Stop’s success. Leveraging his excellent

technical knowledge, operations management and

supervisory skills gained over 15+ years and unrelenting

focus, he ensures business objectives and results are being

met, while always bringing keen insight for his team and

stakeholders. His charismatic self inspires, instills

confidence, and motivates his team for optimal innovation

and performance. Aligning everyone around the value goal;

producing product solutions that truly solve industry risk

management pain points and will better serve B2B / B2C

online engagement.

Ability to Adapt a Shifting Environment

One of the biggest tests of any leader is their

ability to adapt to a shifting environment.

Through the ambiguous online payment

ecosystem and regulatory changes, 4Stop being

a world leader in global data-driven KYB,

KYC, compliance and anti-fraud technology

requires to be the most adaptable to change.

Ingo Ernst is a high-performing and highly

adaptable CEO who consistently makes

decisions earlier, faster and with greater

conviction and passion to support 4Stop’s


Ingo Ernst


32 |June 2019

Furthermore, Ingo has proven

paramount reliability. He is always

clear and concise with expectations

and works closely with each business

department ensuring development,

focus, budgets, and strategies are

clearly defined and targets are met in a

realistic manner. He is always ready to

roll up his sleeves and solve a business

performance dilemma or an industry

pain point through collaborative

innovative discussions to bolster the

4Stop technology solutions. He is a

true leader with the success of his team

and the business at the very heart of

everything he does.

Charismatic Nature

As all the founders of the company

have collectively over 60 years of

experience within the risk

management realm, they understand

the need for a simple, fail-safe,

future-proof solution that

businesses can effortlessly

manage risk requirements with

efficiency and confidence.

However, as with most startups,

ensuring the right team

with a common drive and

passion is vital to bolster the

technology and service the

online risk management

industry in a world-class manner.

Secondly, ensuring that all

departments of the business are

aligned with the business objectives

and have instilled the accurate process

in place for optimal operations,

development and to support

accelerated growth.

4Stop has been in a fortunate position

where the basic challenges of a start-up

where not greatly present. The entire

team is well versed in the industries

need for a true all-in-one global KYB,

KYC, compliance and fraud

prevention provider and are

passionate in driving the solution

offering. Ingo’s charismatic nature

has always been able to easily

align, motivate and encourage

his team to perform at their

greatest potential, while

ensuring that every innovative

idea is heard and equal collaboration

is met.

Future-Proofing Solutions

4Stop continues to monitor, discuss

and stay abreast of industry

innovations and regulatory demands.

The company ensures that its product

remains at the forefront of premium

global risk management solutions to

support the on-going explosive

eCommerce growth. It continually

expands its technology and understand

which key features, data sources, data

aggregation or product solution is

required for expansion and is all

Our global KYC

and risk


platform brings

together global

premium data

sources in a

single integration.

backed behind articulated industry pain

points and feedback provided. 4Stop

strives to have a leading global risk

management solution that genuinely

enhances businesses risk-based

controls in a true automated and futureproofed

manner, regardless of where it

transacts across the globe.

Enhancing Businesses’ Risk

Management Processes

The industry’s pain-point of managing

required KYC for fraud defense and

compliance has been an on-going

hurdle. It is becoming more and more

difficult for businesses to stay abreast

and integrate the required KYC and

data points required for compliance.

Managing multiple 3rd party

integrations to obtain required data

points puts a strain on businesses

internal development resources, brings

additional costs to the business and

impacts the time and ability to enter a

market. Furthermore, the merchant

underwriting processes are much more

complex, and currently, companies are

managing KYB through a great deal of

human intervention and review.

4Stop changes all that. They specialize

in providing leading KYB, hundreds of

KYC, compliance, data science and

their proprietary anti-fraud technology,

all available from a single API

integration. Whether businesses want

to cut the costs on underwriting

businesses, expand their global

data points and KYC coverage,

monitor transactions or a

complete packaged solution,

4Stop is designed to integrate

in a frictionless manner.

Enhancing businesses’ risk

management processes with

leading fraud prevention tools

and automated risk controls

they can activate on-demand.

Valuable Insights

In his advise to emerging leaders, he

says. “As CEO’s we all know what our

objectives are, but we may or may not

know what our finish line illustrates

and getting there will always come

with difficult times. However, doing

something you are passionate about

will automatically instill the drive and

perseverance you require to succeed.

We are leaders for our business, our

people, our industry. We cannot shy

away from failure as it is within failure

that innovation is drafted. We are there

to guide, to teach, to empower and

motivate through clear communication

and reasonable performance

expectations. When you’re leading a

business you have deeply invested in,

these responsibilities become second

nature and when done thoroughly it

will be the anchor to your success.” June 2019| 33


Entrepreneurial Spirit

in the Modern Era

Businesses operate, survive and progress in a highly

dynamic economy, where change is the rule, not

the exception. The change may be slow, sudden or

almost extensive. One of the important forces of change is

the change in technology. Most of these changes are used to

enhance human capabilities to accomplish meaningful

work. These changes are sometimes thriving on the

entrepreneur. A successful entrepreneur works to visualize

these future changes rather than waiting for it and create a

more desirable environment in the organization.

Technological breakthroughs do occur and it takes courage

for an entrepreneur to accept the change and its

implication. Technology breakthroughs like computers,

color television sets, electronic sets, fuel-efficient vehicles,

etc. have encouraged entrepreneurs to manufacture these

products. Thus changes in technology from time to time

pose several alternatives before the entrepreneur. This is an

ongoing process in which the entrepreneur sets goals and

strategies to meet changes in technology. But for strategies

like marketing, human resource, supply chain, financial

and legal strategies, etc. connection with people is

important. Entrepreneurs define the formal relationships

among people and specify both their roles and

responsibilities. Because the end product is an integrated

system of people & technology and to administer these

systems, entrepreneur is required.

Technology is helping us solve problems where human

power alone is not enough. Different types of businesses

require different technologies, but again, it is impossible to

solve all integration needs with a single technology. This

article will help you understand, that technology is only the

part of the original solution and how in different sectors the

entrepreneur's surrounding really matters.

Ÿ Accounting

Technology allows us to complete tasks faster. It replaces

the tiresome tasks of manually storing, compiling, sorting,

etc. and the ability to use data with a simple digital

solution. For example, Sales ledger in the early days was

time-consuming, expensive and all paper-based process.

Technology helped increase productivity with the

development of spreadsheet software like Microsoft

Excel. Employees today are far better at finding what they

need when they need it. Though only this will not achieve

the outcome. Here, let's take a clear look at how the

entrepreneur's spirit is really helping to achieve the desired


Technology is good for bringing the change not forcing it.

It cannot make employees more efficient. Yes, the right

technology can help to make the work easier, but if an

employee is truly falling behind or is just inefficient, all the

technology in the world will not solve this situation. The

34 |June 2019

Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

truth is such employees can be sometimes inefficient due to

either inexperience or laziness. An entrepreneur can

identify this problem by improving communication in such

departments. This explains why human interference is

important to address this situation, where technology is

just a bandage, fix the problem for a short time. Adding

new and faster technology will not fix the problem. While a

better solution is sitting the departments down together and

talking about the problem with the entrepreneur will be a

real solution.

Ÿ Retail

Technology allows retailers to be available day and night

interacting with customers how, when and where they are

ready to shop. Retailers depend on technology to manage

inventory, track customer-purchasing habits, predict

trends and deliver goods and services. Wireless

communication, QR codes and Augmented Reality are

some of the changes in technology to the retail industry.

Ultimately, the entrepreneurship element remains central

even if it is embedded within AI, advanced analytics, etc.

Because a customer's shopping experience is more

important than price and product quality. Entrepreneur

encourages employees to use their creativity to ensure

every customer experience is memorable. Entrepreneur's

human interaction adds the value to the company and

maintains loyal customers.

Ÿ Communication

In virtual workplaces, employees can interact and develop

ideas by connecting through the use of video conferencing.

This may include training and important meetings from far

places to the employees. Technology can also be used as

real-time feedback from the employees which allows the

entrepreneur to improve the needs of the employees.

Entrepreneur's good communication is necessary to allow

efficient flow both internally (among employees) and

externally (using technology).

Ÿ Automation

The robots are coming and can actually help us, to be more

productive, freeing us from most of the time-consuming June 2019| 35

and repetitive tasks. One of the most important areas of

application of automation is computer-aided

manufacturing. Today CAD/CAM technology has been

applied in many industries including machine

components, electronics products, and equipment design.

Even banking and financial institutions have embraced

automation technology in financial transactions. But just

because technology is advancing it does not mean it will

replace human. Technology can do an adequate job, but we

still need humans. It is certain that people to people

communication remains fundamental where the

entrepreneur's contact in the various stages is required.

Ÿ Security

Technology becomes even more critical when operating

the business online. It is important to protect the businesses

from cybercriminals who could steal data or lead to

website downtime. Encryption and decryption protect

information from being accessed by a third party or

cybercriminals. It takes only about a minute without

slowing down any file or document.

Ÿ Storage

Technology has led to the development of cloud computing

to store business information and has been accepted by

many in the world of business. Cloud Computing is cost

effective and convenient to the company management and

employees can access data from anywhere by just using a

device that can access the internet. It helps entrepreneurs to

trust these technologies and build a strong trust among

internal management of the company.

Overall Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain technology,

Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, 3D printing, etc.

today are helping entrepreneurs to use this technology in

every field to grow their businesses. But technology alone

cannot create a company culture, where human

interactions are valued. Because it is people who are

assigned to work on this technology and to encourage them

the entrepreneurs keeps their spirit alive. By creating an

interested working environment, interactive dialogues

among employees, support and motivation to the

employees, reward system, etc. reflects the culture of the

company. It is an entrepreneur who understands what the

needs of the company are, by creating a connection with all

the stages of management that brings the desired output.

Hence, entrepreneurial spirit and technology should go

hand in hand. Therefore we need evolving technology as

well as intelligent humans. We need guided missiles as

well as guided men to create the better world.

36 |June 2019

Nicole Martin

A Leader to Rely for Human Resource Management

Presence is

more than just

“being Present.

Nicole Martin

Founder & CEO




Analyze, Optimize, Emphasize TM

38 |June 2019

Through valuable experiences, a

leader can learn and

implement new innovations for

enriching the organization. Such

experience is very well absorbed by the

Founder and CEO of HRBoost,

Nicole Martin. With over 20 years of

experience in the arena of human

resource from small start-ups to bigleague

organizations, she stepped in to

initiate her own company envisioning

to offer a dedicated resource and best

advisements that many internal HR

departments lack.

She inherently comprehends the

necessity of offering systematic human

resource management to deliver skillequipped

workforce to her clients. Her

deep knowledge on HR services and

enthusiasm to disrupt the customary

practices helped to tackle the cuttingedge

competition in markets.

Currently, her venture, HRBoost offers

over 170-line item services, which

highlight how small mistakes in HR

can devastate the bottom line when

overlooked. Her team of professionals

provide clients with proven,

measurable outcomes.

It was in 2010 when Nicole realized

that she wanted to end her corporate

career thus established HRBoost, LLC.

Her initial desires were to find leaders

who want to be the next Best &


Brightest employer whilst supporting

on-growing businesses facing a myriad

of workforce challenges. By 2012, she

expanded her team while 50% of

yearly growth outcome made her clear

that HR outsourcing was not HR as she

knew it and that HRBoost had found a


Enticing the Targeted Audiences

The company tends to diversify its

offerings by allowing its clients to

engage on an ala carte, project or

retainer basis. Nicole’s and her team’s

mission is to meet clients wherever

they are on their journey to become a

best place to work. They prefer not to

make their clients adjust to the

services, but rather, they work to meet

client’s expectations helping them to

create an attractive work environment

and retain top talent to thrive in future.

What requires being a CEO!

Nicole says, “As I look back, I recall I

didn’t even call myself a CEO until 2014.

Titles are cheap.” Through this

statement she wants to exemplify that

the real attributes of an individual at the

helm of their business is the curiosity.

She states that she never intended to

build a business rather sought work that

fueled her passion and in turn created a

perfect intellectual playground full of

challenges. Nicole believes and advises

that one must love his/her work, as the

business becomes an extension of

oneself it truly can be all-encompassing.

Whether it may be processing out the

work or providing the services, one must

c o m m i t h i m / h e r s e l f w i t h g r i t .

Emphasizing on risks, she expressed

that risks are taken but more important

than the risks are the willingness to fail.

Often it is the leap of faith grounded in

belief that one is doing something

greater than itself and something good,

so that one day, a leader might see

his/her team follow the same ideologies

and work with the same passion. She

says, “Then, and only then, did I feel

comfortable calling myself a Chief

Empowerment Officer.”

Cutting the Slack of Competition

She is attentive towards her clients and

always prefers to stay abreast of what

is happening in her industry

surrounding. She states that her

experience of rapid growth made her

realize the potential and enjoyed the

pace of word of mouth. She takes pride

to put forth that her company has a

proven track record and she is ready to

reveal its capability through her

client’s results.

Through explaining her initial

challenges of being CEO, she states

that human capital and financial capital

is one of basic need as well as

challenge to face. She makes a

statement that many will not grow

because they are not investing in talent

and often it is the CEO’s job to bear

debt. Moreover, she made a calculated

risk to invest in her talent and invest in

her bench strength. She shares through

her experience that it can be a

challenge to orchestrate work life

integration if one reacts to a business

as a mother or wife. She now realizes

that earlier when she put down the

process, hired capable talent, and

disappeared to let them work, the

process proved through: and now, she

can repeat it. She also advises to

readers, one must trust the people one

hires, and one must trust the process

too. As when it is time to take a

calculated risk, one invests and does

everything to increase the odds.

Embracing the Future

Nicole states that currently she would

be focusing on expanding the

company’s retainer services and offer

Small Business Bundles for clients that

typically do not have access to

strategic HR day one, employee one.

For the large clients, she feels excited

to watch them grow and reach their

Best & Brightest recognition. It brings

great joy to her knowing the company

facilitates joy and purpose through its

work for clients and for the people who

choose to work for them.


Nicole put forward a question for the

leaders, in her own words, “There is an

acronym I learned in my Vistage circles

in recent years that sums it for me. It is

GAS. You must have it to be a CEO. If

you figure out what it stands for,

message me!” June 2019| 39

Leading by Example

Everything starts and stops with you, the founder or

CEO of the business, the person who everyone

looks to when it comes to setting an example. As

the leader of your company, your job is to inspire the people

around you to push themselves and, in turn the company, to

excel in everything they do. To do this, the leader must

show the way by doing it themselves, by walking the walk

and talking the talk.

Warren Bennis was an American scholar and organizational

consultant. He is widely regarded as a pioneer of the

contemporary field of leadership studies and is known to

have created the famous quote “Managers are people who

do things right; leaders are people who do the right thing.”

As the leader, you know that keeping your team together,

working towards a common goal, getting them to support

and help each other is your job. If you succeed, they will

succeed; morale will rise and more success will follow.

There’s almost nothing worse for company morale than

leaders who follow the “Do as I say, not as I do”

philosophy. When this happens, the loss of enthusiasm,

energy and goodwill among staff is like watching a tyre

deflate with frustration, cynicism and mistrust replacing any

positivity that previously existed.

No matter what the situation, double standards, where

people do one thing, and then say another is always a recipe

for a disaster. It can be very destructive. If this has ever

happened to you, I am certain the feelings that you

remember are of deep frustration, a sense of disappointment

and total let-down. It can be energy sapping and very hard

to break out of once it has happened.

As a leader you know that you have a responsibility to your

team. They look to you for guidance and strength; it is the

essence of what being a leader is. And a big part of your

responsibility is to lead them with and by your own actions.

So, why is it so important and what happens when you fail

to do this?When you lead by example, it is the creation of

the art of the possible. People can look at you and say,

“Well, if he is willing to do it, then so can I.” When you set

the tone of any activity, you become a source of inspiration

and you make it easy for others to follow you.

This brings me on to Trust. It is the inevitable by-product of

having done your job as a leader well. Trust takes time to

nurture and build. But, when you stay true to your beliefs,

to your core principles and when you keep your word your

staff will know. Consequently, your team will follow your

lead. They will put their trust in you, even when things are

tough in a business. By opening yourself up to your team

and showing them the way, the odds are that they will

follow you anywhere.

Good leaders drive their people forward with energy,

excitement, vision, inspiration and trust. A team without

trust in their leader will see poor productivity, higher

absenteeism and greater staff turnover. Enthusiasm may

disappear and the team may fall apart. The vision you’re

trying so hard to make happen will lose its appeal, all

because your team doesn’t trust you anymore.

Good leadership takes real strength of character and a firm

commitment to do the right thing, at the right time, for the

right reason …..even if it is hard. This means doing what

you say, when you say it. If your team can’t trust you,

you’ll never be great and you wont succeed. It’s like

running a race with your shoelaces tied together. If your

team knows that you’ll also do whatever you expect from

them, they’ll likely work hard to help you achieve your

collective goal.

Great leaders have changed the world because they lived by

their own example. They made accomplishing great things

the norm and not the exception. So, if you ask a colleague

to do something, make sure you are willing to do it

yourself. Make sure you set the example. Look closely at

your own behaviour. Show respect to others and that respect

will be returned. If you want people to listen to all opinions

and points of view, make sure you listen yourself. We were

given two ears and just one mouth for a reason!

40 |June 2019

Expert’s Outlook

About the Leader

Rob Leslie is the Founder and CEO of Sedicii. Rob is a

serial entrepreneur has a successful track record of

establishing and growing businesses to considerable


Sedicii was founded in 2013 and has won over 15

technology and innovations awards to date including,

most recently, the BBVA Open Innovation “Fintech for

Future” Award. BBVA is the oldest and largest Fintech

Innovation Program in the world and has highlighted

Sedicii as “the start-up with the greatest potential to

transform the financial sector in the next 10 years!” Sedicii

has developed a patented zero knowledge proof protocol

to help people and businesses prove their identities in

real-time without compromising their right to privacy.

Rob is a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer for

his work on the zero-knowledge proof protocol and has

spoken at Davos on cybersecurity, digital identity and

other technology issues affecting the world’s economies.

Prior to Sedicii he co-founded Kyckr (ASX:KYK) which is

now listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and provides

organisational identity services for KYC & AML services to

banks and other regulated financial institutions across the

globe. Rob was also part of the original management

team in Dell Japan that established and grew the business

to almost 300 employees and $300M turnover in its first

4 years.

Rob Leslie

Founder & CEO

Sedicii June 2019| 41


An Expert in Logistics Management

In an interview with insights

success, Todd Davis, President

and CEO of FARO Logistics

Solutions, Inc and FARO Cargo

Handling, LLC shares his vital

knowledge on logistics and making it

efficient, fast and affordable.

Below are the highlights of the

interview between Todd Davis and

Insights Success:

How do you diversify your

organization’s offerings to appeal to

the target audience?

We’ve created an organization that has

generated appeal to a diverse group of

clients within the logistics and

fulfillment industry. Business is always

in constant motion. To not only survive

but excel, we have to be agile enough

to meet these ever-changing needs. We

have the unique ability to tailor

solutions to our customers that stay

within the framework of our business

philosophy and financial goals. While

all customers have the same basic

needs, we understand that each

customer is unique and may put an

emphasis on different facets of the

business. Our management team

researches, listens and constructs a

plan that is built around the customer’s

wants and needs. This includes

everything from automated IT

transactions, reporting to billing. We

thrive in tackling our customer’s

complex problems with innovation and

strategic partnering.

Describe some of the vital attributes

that every CEO should possess.

I believe it is imperative that the CEO

knows all aspects of the company

including Operations, Sales, Finance,

Real Estate, HR, IT and Legal. No one

person can singlehandedly manage a

company of this size and diversity. It

takes a team of highly committed and

professional individuals to deliver

positive results. Being a CEO requires

the ability to assemble such a team as

well as the ability to listen first and

react second. I believe that finding

passionate, driven team members is the

key to building a successful team.

Knowledge and experience are nice

traits, but if someone is not driven and

doesn’t truly care about their job and

the company’s success then they will

eventually let you down. A successful

CEO surrounds themselves with smart,

innovative and passionate people.

How do you strategize your game

plans to tackle competition in the


We look at each new venture as an

opportunity to build relationships,

build trust and eventually a


We deal in a high volume, low margin

industry. A lot of our competitors take

on customers for market share with

little or no regard to the “hidden costs”

associated with the industry. Our

experience in the market allows us to

expose these costs early on in the

customer engagement process. We feel

this open dialogue from the beginning

is key to establishing the trust needed

to succeed in the market and in

business. And as I stated earlier, we

believe in partnering with the customer

to ensure from the beginning they

know we are vested with them and will

tailor what they need to them

specifically and not make them fit into

a cookie-cutter type program.

What were the primal challenges

and roadblocks you faced during the

initial phase of your career as a


Good question, I feel that changing the

legacy culture that existed at the time I

became CEO was of great challenge.

Human nature has instilled in us that

change is bad, but I tend to think of

change as an opportunity. Change takes

time, is never easy and it starts from

the top down. Assembling the right

team to embrace a new culture and

direction was challenging. It still is,

complacency will drive a company into

the red quicker than getting fired by a

customer. I wanted to make sure that

our team felt part of the company and

were not just spinning their wheels to

get a paycheck. It takes time for people

to see and buy in to a new culture, but

when they do it changes everything.

Where do you see yourself in the

near future and what are your future


My future is here with FARO. I, along

with the other shareholders have been

44 |June 2019

committed to this company for a long time and will

continue to be for a long time to come. We have a great

group of people working for us and with us. The logistics

business changes constantly, that’s part of the passion and

excitement around it. Our future goals will be targeted

expansion as we continue to work with current and

potential customers on their logistics and fulfillment needs.

We are in an industry which is in constant flux. If you don’t

change, grow and adapt, you will not survive.

What is Todd Davis’s advice for budding and emerging


Patience and Trust. Both are extremely difficult traits in this

fast-paced business environment. Successful CEO’s have a

clear vision on goals they’d like to accomplish and how to

lead a company to the next level of success and beyond.

They also realize that they can’t do it alone. Hiring and

retaining quality people will continue to be one the CEO’s

biggest challenges. Hiring people takes trust and

commitment. A CEO can never be content, they must

always be looking years down the road and try to see the

future coming and plan for it. A CEO that is just reactive

and not proactive and visionary will not prevail in business.

About the Leader

Todd Davis, President, and CEO of FARO

Logistics Solutions, Inc., After graduating from

Penn State with a degree in Logistics and

Marketing, Todd joined FARO in 1991 as a

warehouse supervisor. He has held many

positions within the organization and became

CEO in 2012 after serving as the company’s CFO

for a number of years. He has been an active

board member since 2004 serving as Secretary,

Treasurer and now President.

Care about what you do and

how you do it, treat the

business like a family and

make sure you lead with

vision and integrity.

Todd Davis

President & CEO June 2019| 45

A Material Marvel

of the Century

he simplest observations are

Tsometimes the greatest

discoveries. Watching an apple

falling from its branch, Isaac Newton

discovered the famous law of universal

gravitation. Almost three centuries

later, science could take another leap

forward with... a roll of tape.

There is a new wonder material in

town that might change our future.

Imagine a coffee cup that streams the

day’s headlines in real time. Or a

cooking pot that can detect the

presence of E. coli bacteria that could

make you sick. Or a television screen

that is as flexible and thin as a piece of

paper. All of these applications could

be a reality if the wonder material,

named Graphene, lives up to its hype.

A Complicated Narrative

The story begins in 2004 in the

laboratories of the University of

Manchester. Fascination with this

material stems from its remarkable

physical properties and the potential

applications they offer. Although

scientists knew one atom thick, twodimensional

crystal graphene existed,

no-one had worked out how to extract

it from graphite.

That was until it was isolated in 2004

by two researchers at The University of

Manchester: Prof. Andre Geim and

Prof. Kostya Novoselov. This is the

story of how that stunning scientific

feat achieved while peeling layers of

graphite using adhesive tapes, and why

Andre-Kostya duo won the Nobel

Prize in Physics for their pioneering

work. This is the beginning of a

scientific and engineering renaissance.

Unboxing Graphene

Graphene is a material that can be

perceived as a form of graphite, and

therefore a carbon allotrope that is

distinguished by its crystalline

organization. In simple terms graphene

is a sheet of a single layer (monolayer)

of carbon atoms, tightly bound in a

hexagonal honeycomb lattice. It is the

building-block of Graphite but

graphene is a remarkable substance on

its own - with a multitude of

astonishing properties proving the title

of ‘wonder material’.

Graphene is the thinnest compound

known to man having size equal to one

atom thick, the lightest material

known, the strongest compound

discovered surpassing diamond, the

best conductor of heat at room

temperature and also the best

conductor of electricity known to exist.

The Material of the Future

Graphene is a disruptive phenomenon;

one which could open up new markets

and even replace existing technologies

or materials. It is when graphene is

used both to improve an existing

material and in a transformational

capacity its true potential can be

realised. The vast number of products,

processes and industries for which

graphene could create a significant

impact, all stems from its amazing


Ÿ Biomedical

Graphene’s unique properties allow for

ground-breaking biomedical

applications; Targeted drug delivery,

improved brain penetration, DIY

health-testing kits and ‘smart’ implants

can be mentioned out of many


Ÿ Composite Materials

One of the simplest and most effective

ways of harnessing the potential of

graphene is to combine it with existing

products - so called composite

materials. By combining with paints, a

unique graphene coating can be formed

which could signal the end of the

deterioration of ships and cars through

rust. Additionally, it can do wonders in

the field of weather-proofing,

packaging, sports equipment and

creating lightest, strongest, safest


Ÿ Electronics

Graphene has the potential to create the

next-generation of electronics

exploring spheres of Sci-Fi technology,

faster transistors, semiconductors,

bendable phones, wearable gadgets and

other electronics.

46 |June 2019

Bio Tech

Ÿ Energy

With its influential properties and capabilities, graphene is

surely an innovation with distinct future prospects. Bearing

this in mind, one might be surprised to know that carbon is

the second most abundant mass within the human body and

the fourth most abundant element in the universe by mass,

after hydrogen, helium and oxygen. This makes carbon the

chemical basis for all known life on earth, so therefore

graphene could well be an ecologically friendly, sustainable

solution for astronomical energy demands. Imagine fully

charging a smartphone in seconds or an electric car in

minutes. That’s the power of graphene batteries and supercapacitors.

Ÿ Filtration Membranes

Imagine clean drinking water for millions in developing

countries. A global toll of 3.4 million deaths each year is a

serious concern which underlines the gravity of clean water

requirement. The development of graphene-based

membranes has brought that possibility closer like never


Ÿ Sensors

Ultra-sensitive sensors made from graphene could detect

minute dangerous particles helping to protect potentially

dangerous environments. Its inherently micro-sized

structure allows for the creation of hair thin like sensors

which can be incorporated to detect biological agents like

drugs in our body, stresses and strain levels, atmospheric

changes caused by decaying food, and many more.

However, studies in 2012 found that by analysing its

interfacial adhesive energy, it is possible to effectually

separate graphene from the metallic board on which it is

grown. As the techniques continue to evolve in nearby

future, on the account of its high productivity, a sharp

decline in price is expected to be achieved.

The range of industries where graphene research is making

an impact is substantial. And this is only the beginning.

These are only the baby steps. Although, it’s important to

consider the span within which it is likely to exist in

customary life, one simply cannot overlook the

inconceivable and endless potential of this supernatural

material. With continuously growing necessities and

depleting resources of the contemporary world, graphene

will certainly turn out to be a panacea of all remedies.


It must be a wondering question that despite of graphene’s

prodigious abilities why it has not hit the ground reality.

The problem that prevented it from initially being

unavailable for commercial uses was that the creation of

high quality graphene was a very expensive and complex

process. “Its industrial production is not yet based on

reliable methods to obtain large quantities,” claims Alberto

Bianco, a researcher at the CNRS and the University of

Strasbourg. It was estimated in 2008 that the production of

a square meter of this miracle material cost a whopping

amount of 600 billion euros. June 2019| 47

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