The team has been doing various projects over the past few months, actively promoting and elevating talent within the local community. During that period, we were able to have a conversation with Alex, get to know more about him and his entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us briefly about your background?
I grew up around the place, from Peckham, South London to Belvedere in Kent due to personal reasons. I attended Kingsdale Secondary School, attended a number of colleges as I had a football scholarship at Wycombe Wanderers (the dream failed as I am here now talking to you haha), played semi pro football for Hayes and Yeading and then Wealdstone and was trialing at the lower league professional football clubs but didn’t get a contract.
To be honest, sports was my life. I went into the whole digital space because of an apprenticeship I did as an consultant, where I was working for Lambeth Council as a contract member of staff but the actual company who hired me took four months to pay me. It’s been a journey.
What is your business & how did you come up with your business idea?
Comuzi is an innovation consultancy – we combine business strategy, design thinking & tech to help our clients create the next generation of ideas, products and services (digital or non digital) for business growth.
Our process with our clients is five simple steps; define a problem, explore a customer opportunity, a project is designed and prototyped then the project is tested and pitched. Ultimately, we then assist in scaling up the new product.
We have worked with a number of NHS bodies, the UK Department of Health, Saudi Arabian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research, T-Mobile, Family Mosaic and many more big organisations, as well as fast growing startups.
What challenges did you face setting up your business?
We work across all sectors that need innovation, running a niche consultancy firm – you need to demonstrate your expertise to the economic buyer, getting in front of these guys may not be easy. We had to make sure our message was loud and clear as we are not the only innovation consulting firm around. Who you know can make or break you.
Tech companies understand innovation, Google have many products which they created but 96% of their revenues come from advertising, they have set plans in place for future revenue to come from their new products they work on daily. Non tech companies want instant response (profit) from their innovations, getting them to understand the long term benefits to revenue is a challenge but it will change – no one wants to end up like Kodak or Blockbuster.
Who has inspired you on your journey within business?
The people who have inspired and helped me on my journey has been my mentors, Jim Dawton, former director of design consultancy Great Fridays, Gal Miller, Group Head of Strategy & Corporate Development at International Chemical Distributor 2M Holdings, Erwin Benjamin a leading property and construction consultant who happens to be a non executive/investor & the father of one of the Partners at Comuzi and Professor Tony Young, National Clinical Director for Innovation, NHS England.
What advice would you give a start-up company or a young savvy entrepreneur?
Understand these home truths about entrepreneurship:
1. Entrepreneurship is a lonely path.
2. You many never see wealth
3. It takes years to be an overnight success.
4. Who you know will make or break you.
5. You need to be able to manage people.
Changing the way you speak, from impossible to ‘I’m possible’. Putting your money where your mouth is, actions speak louder than words. Take calculated risks, be brutally honest with yourself, if your business model is not working, keep pivoting until you find the right model. Make sure you have reserves when the rainy day comes. Don’t think you have to do everything, outsource and focus on what it is important. Limit your cost expenditure, don’t restrict yourself but always be smart with your spending.
@alexfefegha | @proptar