An Open letter about the Tando Missions.
Michael Pursey, CEO
If I were you, this is what I’d be thinking right now;
“There are loads of companies I could work at – why should I want to work at Tando?”
It’s a fair question for anyone looking at this website thinking about the next step in their career. After all, there should be a compelling reason for jumping on board a Start-Up that you’ve likely never heard of!
I’m not here to convince you that Tando is some sort of magical company that will meet all your wildest dreams. This is just about giving you some insight into what we think is important, and what we are here to do.
A lot of companies come and go. At any given time I could name dozens of startups in various stages of getting up off the ground. Most of them have promise, and all of them have passion. But I can tell you now that most of them won’t be around in 5 years time.
In fact, I’ve been one of them myself – I’ve run a number of Start-Ups in the past. They worked for a while, they made money, they had teams of smart, hungry people – but they don’t exist anymore. Through those experiences I have learnt a lot (often very painfully) and at Tando we are working hard to build something that really will stand the test of time!
One of the many things I have learnt is that a startup needs a real sense of mission. What is driving it? Why should it exist? Does it deserve to survive and is it good enough to thrive? To that end we have two missions at Tando, both of which are really important.
1. Build a world class team.
2. Solve real problems, for real people.
These 2 missions are the foundations of what we are doing. They sum up our philosophy and our challenge.
They are ordered this way on purpose. Many companies would have customers first (customers are really important) – but one of the lessons I have learnt is that team is everything. Let’s jump into these a little more and I will try to frame the Tando approach for you.
1. Build a world class team
If you try to do something yourself, then you are limited to 40 to 80 hours a week (depending on how much you want it) to get stuff done. Create a team of 10 and that becomes 400-800 hours per week – that’s some serious firepower!
A “team of 10” and “10 people” are two very different things. If it’s going to be a great team then it has to be packed with talented, driven, like minded people who are ready to give everything to the Startup!
In our first couple of years we have created a small team, one that cares deeply about what we are trying to do – and now we need to grow that team to achieve our mission.
The single most important thing to the long term success of Tando is to attract, engage, challenge, improve and retain nothing but the very best possible people to fuel the growth of our Start-Up – here’s why:
Attract – we want Tando to be a desirable place to work for the right people – we don’t want you going to work at a different Start-Up instead of ours.
Engage, challenge & improve – great people want to be challenged, it’s what makes us all better. It’s our responsibility to give you new ceilings to break through!
Retain – we only want to work with great people. If we hire someone who is less than great, then we have a responsibility to either make them great – or move them on. The mission is world class – and only world class will do.
Now, if I were you at this point I might be thinking something like:
“This all sounds lovely, but what’s interesting and exciting about a finance company?”
It’s true, “loans” sound boring – but it might be more interesting that you think. A few years ago technology exploded into financial services, and loans stopped looking like old white men with grey hair, and started looking like young, driven creatives with energy.
The finance market is one of the biggest sectors in the world – think about it – we all use financial products. It’s a massive, universal market! These days finance is fast moving, innovative and full of smart people working out complex analytical, marketing and software challenges.
Tando designs and builds all it’s own systems, websites and processes in-house. We do our own marketing, branding and work to solve our own problems – this is a place for people who want to roll up their sleeves, get stuck into a bucket load of problems and see what wins they can find!
In the 2+ years since we launched we have expanded into 5 countries. We have grown from literally nothing, to where we are today; this is opportunity personified. 5 years from now, if we are smart enough to overcome all the obstacles between now and then – who knows what we will be! We have plans well beyond loans that’s for sure!
If you want to work somewhere you can be part of something, somewhere with practically limitless opportunity – then loans might just be what you need.
2. Solve real problems, for real people
So we have established that a world class team is critical mission 1 – if we are to become everything we want to be!
Critical mission 2 is about solving real problems. Our products are designed especially to help consumers who are underserved by mainstream banks. We are not here to help the top 10% of people with savings and investments. What we do is create solutions for the bottom 10% of the financial ladder – and help them get back on track and moving up.
The stereotype is that people who need alternative credit products should just go and borrow from their bank – but if you spend a day at Tando you will see how wrong that attitude is. We operate in a market where over 50 million consumers need access to fair and honest finance solutions and we are here to give it to them. For long term success we must create the best solutions in the world for our customers – and we must do it in a way that we can be truly proud of.
I’ve rabbited on for too long and need to get back to 1000 other things, but before I go I want to leave you with this one final thought:
In my experience there are very few genuine opportunities to really make an impact on an early stage business. To really be part of the group that moulds something – I really believe that Tando is one of those rare opportunities. If you like what you have read about on our website and think you might be a Tandonite, then we would be very happy to meet and chat with you.
Thanks for your time – and we hope to hear from you.