My guest for Ep145 of The Startup Playbook Podcast was the Co-founder & CEO of Deputy, Ashik Ahmed.
Ashik launched Deputy in 2008, initially as the co-founder and CTO of the business.
He transitioned to the CEO role after Deputy raised there Series A funding round in 2017.
Deputy has since gone on to being used by 250,000 businesses across more than 100 countries and the company has raised a total of AUD$144M ($101M USD) including Australia’s largest ever Series B funding round of AUD$111M ($81M USD).
However, it hasn’t been all plain sailing with the company suffering significantly through COVID last year having to stand down 30% of it’s staff.
In this interview we covered a wide range of topics including:
How Deputy and Ashik managed the challenges of COVID
Why founders need to retain their customer obsession and love customers who complain
Ashik’s journey from software developer to the CEO role
Ashik’s approach to fundraising and building relationships with VCs and investors
Why more companies die from indigestion rather than starvation
& much more!
2.08 – An introduction to Ashik and his company Deputy
2.47 – What the early days of Deputy where like and how that formed how the company operates today
4.09 – The importance of customers loving your product and using Net Promoter Score (NPS) to inform product changes
7.29 – When you should start measuring NPS and why it should continue even as the company grows
9.10 – How to incorporate customer feedback and be accessible to customers whilst growing
11.24 – Transitioning from Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) during a period of growth and Series A fundraising
16.51 – Learning to be a CEO and growing with the company whilst remaining humble
19.47 – The tools and approach Ashik used to develop his CEO skills
21.44 – Surviving and pivoting during the challenges of 2020
28.58 – Managing a team through COVID and letting people go
32.42 – The importance of values for culture and always aiming for success
36.44 – Ashik’s advice for founders on how to define your companies’ values
39.45 – How to build and maintain relationships with investors
44.23 – Focusing on the right goals, staying focused and executing quickly