Over the last several years, London-born tech entrepreneur Lloyd Wahed has founded two search firms and has successfully helped scale a number of unicorn technology scale-ups. Lloyd is also the host of Searching For Mana podcast, interviewing some of the leading and influential men and women building the future in tech innovation and finance.
Who Are You And What Drove You To Start Up In Business?
I’m a tech entrepreneur and headhunter and over the last several years I’ve founded two search firms and helped scale a number of unicorn technology scale-ups. I launched Mana Search because there is a distinct lack of a tier one, hybrid talent partner that can pull together the best of both the recruitment and headhunting worlds and act as a true extended arm of the business. Of course, the mouth-watering opportunity Fintech proposes to impact on a swift and vast scale, may play a part!
I’m also the host of Searching For Mana podcast, interviewing some of the leading and influential men and women building the future in tech innovation and finance.
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How Do You Think Technology Has Changed The Ways We Work In Recent Years?
When I first started as a Headhunter 15 years ago, the term “data science” barely existed. Today, it is not uncommon for businesses with between 50-250 employees to have a Chief Data Officer, especially in the case of data-driven platforms and FinTech startups. The adoption of cloud technology, and demand for automation engineering and machine learning are now crucial elements that companies must address through their tech stacks and talent acquisition efforts. The evolution of technology and how this impacts the future of work is something I’ve always been fascinated with and I actually launched my podcast to investigate this very question.
When Starting Up, What Should Startups Consider?
I think having a sense of purpose and “why” rooted in everything you do is a good place to start when launching a startup – it’s this overarching mission that will drive the business forwards. I also think startups should continually assess how they are nurturing a positive team culture from the beginning as this will become really important when companies scale.
Why Do You Believe The UK Is Such A Great Hub For Tech, Innovation And Startups?
The UK is a true honeytrap for worldwide investment and there is no better confirmation of that than the $5bn investment for UK tech in H1 of this year (in somewhat tricky circumstances!). Specifically, January to the end of May has seen the UK’s tech investment eclipse the rest of Europe’s combined. Additionally, UK tech has built on a decade of consistent growth in which more unicorns were created than in any other country. The UK’s total of ‘unicorn’s’ now sits at approximately 80, more than doubling 2nd place Germany and leaving other european competitors trailing.
Both of these factors and many more provide proof in the pudding that the UK is a key player for tech, innovation and startups.
How Can Businesses Ensure Staff Are As Efficient And Productive As Possible?
Smart hiring is pretty integral to creating efficient and productive teams. The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted entrepreneurs to look at their team’s resilience and creativity and whilst navigating such an unpredictable transition period in the post-crisis reality, this feels more important for businesses than ever before. I’d also say that team activities are effective at improving trust levels, even facilitating informal encounters online will help boost morale! I’d also suggest regular check-ins with your team members (ideally with cameras turned on!) will ensure that communication continues throughout the day.
What Makes For A Happy Worker?
I think a happy worker is someone who feels part of the company’s mission, who feels valued, listened to and, even when we’re working remotely, is able to connect on a human level with their team. We’re a society obsessed by growth metrics such as KPIs or OKRs but I think that the workers that are also measured and supported with a more human-centric approach are the happiest at work.
How Do You Believe AI And Tech Have Changed The Way We Will Work In The Future?
Artificial Intelligence is making strides in popularity and becoming increasingly relevant in businesses across the board. I don’t think we should be scared of Artificial Intelligence if we’re proactive. If governed the right way, AI will hopefully take the middle layer out of companies that are quite admin intensive and what is going to be brought in is the ability for us to use our emotional and social skills that we have as humans.
Searching for Mana podcast is available on Apple,Spotify and all major podcast platforms.