How smart investment enabled TEKenable to become a global player in IT

TEKenable Ltd |AIBF
Peter Rose, CTO of TEKenable.

Irish IT business TEKenable last month closed on a contract worth €11.5 million for software services in the UK.

The All-Star company has emerged as a major player in the IT sector in rapid time through clever investment and brilliant leadership.

The business recently announced the opening of a UK office in an expansion which will see the company employ 60 new people over the next two years.

The move is being funded by a €1.6m investment from the Goodbody EIIS fund that TEKenable secured last year.

AIBF Tech Entrepreneur Of The Year and TEKenable CEO Peter Rose spoke to the All-Ireland Business Foundation about his company’s rise from small fish to market leader.

“The first move we made was to hire a Chief Financial Officer,” he said.

“That “professional eye” over how we were managing our finances was transformative. It freed up cash, which enabled us to invest.”

TEKenable delivers rapid application development services for a rapidly expanding global client base.

The business has mushroomed thanks to early investment in an industry trend towards low code platforms to achieve rapid delivery of services.

Low code platforms enable faster project delivery, providing more functionality per Euro at a lower risk than older “high code methods”.

TEKenable has been successful at leveraging these low code platforms while still maintaining the capability to build bespoke code for each of its clients individual needs.

We recognised a shift in the industry, said Peter. “We were quick to realise that this trend was here to stay and we made bold moves to opt in early.”

“We didn’t stay attached to the old ways we were willing to adopt the neweven though that meant a big investment and quite a change in terms of how we did things.”

The All-Star TEKenable team pictured after being named Irish Technology Business Of The Year in 2019.

“Every industry goes through changes in terms of how things can be done – whether it’s manufacturing or distribution or retail sales or whatever.”

“It’s so important to keep an eye on the market and to make sure that you change with it because it’s surprisingly easy to get side-lined.”

Having freed up cash, TEKenable took steps to build on their investment through a marketing and PR capability.

The marketing team help TEKenable to tell their story and build trust with potential clients.

“It got us over a barrier we call we called the “TEKenable who? barrier”, explained Peter.

“Often when meeting potential clients and telling them that we were from TEKenable they would respond with “TEKenable who?”, which was actually another way of saying why would I trust you?”

“Thanks to our marketing and PR team that doesn’t happen so much anymore.”

TEKenable’s capacity to attract clients and make connections through its sales team has dramatically increased.

Peter explained that potential clients are now very willing to have conversations with his teams because they have heard of TEKenable through referrals and in the media.

The business has established itself as trusted service provider with a reputation for quality and excellent customer service – the timeframe in which this has been achieved is impressive.

Five years ago TEKenable had a team of 20 employees and recorded an annual turnover of €1.6 million.

Today the business employs around 130 people with offices in Ireland, the UK, Spain, Hungary, and the Middle East.

TEKenable’s annual turnover for 2021 (before the recent €11.5 million deal) was forecast to break the €10 million mark.

TEKenable’s performance and contribution to the technology sector at home and abroad has not gone unnoticed.

The All-Ireland Business Foundation recently named Peter Rose as Tech Entrepreneur Of The Year for 2021.

Reacting to the Announcement, Peter said: “I am delighted and honoured to named tech entrepreneur of the year by the All-Ireland Business Foundation.”

“The achievement is down to the 130 people at TEKenable who work incredibly hard to make sure our customers are provided with a premium service.”

When asked for one piece of advice for budding business leaders with growth ambitions, Peter said: “The fundamental thing that businesses of any size should do is to get serious about their finances and make sure that what they are doing is actually profitable.”

“We received outside advice which basically showed us that we were delivering great projects but we weren’t looking after the profitability of those projects.”

“So what we did was we put in the necessary finance, governance, processes and procedures in place to control our projects and make sure that they were being delivered within budget.”

“If you’re not delivering a margin you’ll have no money to pay the bills and you’ll have no money to invest and grow.”

To learn more about TEKenable Ltd, visit their All-Star showcase page here.