“A company is only as good as its people,” — 60 Seconds with Ray Ryan of The Noledge Group 

60 Seconds With, Interviews | Fri 18 Nov | Author – Business & Finance
Pictured: Ray Ryan, Founder & CEO, The Noledge Group

Ray Ryan is the Founder & CEO of The Noledge Group. The enterprise resource planning and financial software firm operates two brands: OSSM and Envisage


What was your first job? 

My first job was in stock control for an electrical appliance company. I worked in a warehouse which stocked parts to fix domestic appliances, so quite different to what I do now! I’m always trying to find a better way of doing things and making business more streamlined. I learned early on that if I memorised the parts on each domestic appliance, it would make my job a lot easier as I would know exactly which unit belonged to which device. I very quickly became known as the go-to-guy for questions on appliance parts. 

What pushed you to pursue a career in this field?

From my time working in the warehouse of that electrical appliance company, I learned that operations were paramount to a business. Since everything was carried out manually, I became interested in the possibilities of automation to make business easier and simpler. This fascination in using smarter tools to work more efficiently pushed me to pursue a career in computing and ultimately result in the foundation of The Noledge Group.

What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

Building a strong and diverse company offering lots of opportunities to enable our amazing team to flourish is really important to me. I am very proud of our culture and building strong relationships with all the talented people who have made The Noledge Group what it is today. After all, a company is only as good as its people, and I am happy to say that since we started, we have managed to retain our core team and grow as a company and as people together. 

Career wise, would you do anything differently?

When you are young and venturing out on your own, you often lack the confidence in the decisions you are making. If I were to do it again, I would like to have had more confidence and self-belief. 

In one sentence, how would you define success?

Far too many businesses come and go within a decade. To me, success is sustaining and growing a business over the long term, which is what we have successfully achieved to date and will continue to do in the future.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

My father-in-law once told me: “There are two things you need in business – cashflow and enthusiasm. If you do not have either, you’ll never have a business.” Every business will face a series of unprecedented challenges during its lifetime. During dark times, you need to find and hold onto your enthusiasm, as it is the only thing that will get you out of a bad situation.

How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

Knowing that we make a difference to our customers’ lives on a daily basis is what excites me and my team. By using smarter tools, we help make our customers’ businesses more profitable by enabling them to simplify and automate their internal processes. It is deeply rewarding to see how motivated our team are in going the extra mile and delivering tailored solutions for our customers’ needs to transform them into higher performance businesses.

How do you handle adversity? 

Empathy is critical. Whether the challenge is with a customer or colleague, everyone has something that is important to them. It’s essential to put yourself in their shoes and try to understand it from their perspective. This is very helpful when you need to find a resolution.

How do you relax?

I play the guitar and like to run. Running helps me focus, while playing the guitar helps me decompress. I like to learn a new song as a way of distracting myself as I’m not able to think about anything else. I’m currently learning how to play ‘Wish You Were Here’ by Pink Floyd.

What are your aspirations for the future of the business?

For the team to sustain the growth we have achieved over the years and to keep looking to the future, while continuing to focus on the outcome rather than the income. I firmly believe that if you get the outcome correct, the income will naturally follow.


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