Most CEOs who saw 100% growth during COVID would probably be eager to proclaim their recent successes and focus on the changing digital dynamics.
But it’s telling that Arshad Masood, founder and CEO of Visionet Systems, initially takes me back to 1995 and ‘Y2K’ era to explain how, from the outset, he was focused on differentiating the company by focusing on multi-task automation.
It’s fair to say his vision has paid off. From a $1mn investment, Visionet Systems has grown into a $250mn annual turnover business, operating with 8,000 staff worldwide, with a wide range of products, solutions and services.
“You have to focus on the value to the customer, and go and solve their problems in an innovative way – and that’s where the longevity of the business comes,” he said.
With 25 years’ head start,the company’s experience provided solid foundations at a time of great uncertainty amid the pandemic.
Two other factors were in Visionet’s favour. Since people were working from home, everything had to be digitaland you needed a dynamic management – two important areas which the company had developed over the last 15 years.
“We happened to be in the space long before supply chain became fashionable,” he said.
“We were there when ‘fast fashion’ became prevalent, and shrank the whole process. We eliminated waste, so sustainability came into the equation.”
Today, under a catchy alliterative slogan – ‘Digital Defined, Digital Delivered’ – Visionet’s customers are as broad as they’re long, encompassing F&B and logistics to healthcare and fashion.
Key to its recent success has been its supply chain vertical cloud application, PartnerLinQ, which is a hybrid integrated platform for supply chain connectivity with all analytics, tracking, and visibility built in. It’s designed to handle very rapid on-boarding.
“That’s why we have grown 100% in the last two years, it’s such a versatile tool, and selling itself,” he said. “We can place PartnerLinQ in the middle of company’s ERP and e-commerce systems, and connect with other vendors, in a matter of weeks.”
The onset of streaming merchandising and other new technologies, such as the ‘metaverse’, presents new challenges and opportunities.
“With all these new channels, the merchants have to be prepared,” he said.
“If you take fashion – their problem is now data-driven production and product availability, providing the right customer at the right time.”
Masood’s rise to the top hasn’t gone unnoticed, and he won the EY Entrepreneur of The Year 2021 New Jersey award. But he deflects praise, saying he is proud to have built a company which is employee-owned.
“Our number one purpose is to serve our employees – and you can’t do that unless you serve your customers, so both are equally important.”
“We are working hard to get to a point where our products generate most of the revenue, and we can add a lot more value. We are an innovation-centric company, and we will continue on this path.”