Clara Angotti, President of Next Pathway, was a guest industry speaker at the Rotman LEADS Industry Event on May 17, 2021. The purpose of Industry Events is to give MBA candidates an opportunity to connect with senior executives on a multitude of topics.
Clara started her talk by providing some interesting statistics on entrepreneurs in Canada. “Companies, like Next Pathway, that employ fewer than 500 employees, employ more than 90% of Canada’s private sector workforce, make up 30% of Canada’s GDP, are responsible for 25% of Canada’s exports and 95% of new job creation. Entrepreneurship is a powerful force that drives innovation, productivity, job creation and economic growth,” said Clara.
Clara gave the audience an overview of her 30-year career and the 4 key lessons she’s learned along the way.
The highlights of the talk are captured here.
“I attribute our success to being able to identify and capitalize on technology waves. Knowing when to jump on a wave is important, but equally as important is recognizing when to jump off. Waves don’t last forever. They represent an opportunity to provide a service or product that is relevant to your customers, but then you need to know when it's time to move on.”
“In some cases you intuitively know when you need to diversify your business. Every good business person will know when it's time to change their services or products; losing touch with the market is very dangerous. The important point is that every successful business knows how to evolve their services and/or products in order to continuously add value and stay relevant to their customers.”
“You constantly have to be in a growth mindset. Which means that you need to be really comfortable with trial and error. And being data people, you're used to experimenting (with data) and trying out a hypothesis and then adjusting accordingly."
“It's the same when you run your business. You know that there's going to be setbacks along the way. You have to be expecting them. You can't be so egotistical that everything you do will be a success. You need to be acutely aware that you could fail and be ready to adjust and get back on your feet."
“My business has been a culmination of small breaks that I got along the way. Nobody came to me with a big bang idea. Nobody came to me with millions of dollars and said “Start this business. Here you go.” Every step was a calculated move - slow, methodical and progressive.”
"It could be a modest pilot that only lasts a few weeks. But if the work is important and meaningful along your growth path, then take it. Take every important piece that you get and show people what you're capable of doing and blow that piece into something much bigger.”
“You will see this in your own career. And I find that the people that wait for the big opportunity are always disappointed, because it never comes.”
“What has served us incredibly well is hiring the right people, not the smartest, not the most experienced; I am talking about the right people. And by that, I mean, people that intuitively, who they are in their DNA, are capable of getting any job done.”
“Because, as I mentioned, change is constant and your business is constantly shifting. And when you have the right people around you and you need to pivot your business, the right people will follow and retool themselves accordingly.”
To learn more about Clara Angotti, follow her on LinkedIn here and listen to this podcast she did with Next Pathway CEO Chetan Mathur, on the future of cloud migrations.