The Big Ask…. Getting to know Omnitude’s CFO — Jurie van Rensburg
Our Finance Director Jurie Van Rensburg is the person who supports our business by overseeing and implementing the financial strategy for the company, while managing risks, pushing growth. But with so much on his plate, does he have time for anything else?
1. Where do you live, work and play?
I live and work in the south of the UK, having returned to the UK two years ago after a stint of doing consultancy work in South Africa. I play wherever my mind can take me.
2. Describe your role in Omnitude?
My role as Chief Financial Officer means that I’m responsible for steering the business on a stable financial footing. In addition to this, I also own the relationship with Shareholders as well as the professional advisors like lawyers, auditors, tax advisors, insurance providers, etc. Most importantly my role allows me to ensure that our CEO and Founder’s vision is achieved on a sound commercial and financial foundation.
Equally important part of my role is to make sure we can pay for a few snacks, tea and coffee (plenty of that required) and the occasional visit to the pub with all the staff (staff motivational visits of course).
Being part of the Exec team also allows me to have an input and view about matters across the business.
3. What do you love about your job?
Where do I start… The people I work with is probably the one thing that stands out above the rest. Being part of such a talented and fun team is a great but also humbling experience. Following very closely behind that is the excitement of being part of building something new that is a real game changer. I can’t remember when last I’ve had so many headaches but loving having them as it is caused by the amount of new information that I take on everyday, and my brain sometimes doesn’t know what hit it.
Being able to lay foundations from where the business can be built on, is a very exciting privilege.
4. How long have you worked in the ‘tech’ industry?
I’ve been in a variety of industries over the years, and a lot of them involved ‘tech’ to some extent so difficult to give a more definitive answer. The one key thing that I’ve achieved through this is the ability to make my skills industry agnostic. In other words, I can very quickly embed myself and transfer my skills into any industry.
5. What are your favourite things?
My Family (always no 1), rugby, yachts, cars, nature and good food.
6. Why does blockchain technology excite you?
We’re at the dawn of a new era. Blockchain can be the ‘new internet,’ the ‘new Google’ or ‘new Facebook,’ and we are at the start of it. That is a super exciting thought! Technological opportunities like this don’t appear many times in a person’s lifetime.
An old quote comes to mind when something new like Blockchain appears and I certainly don’t want to be part of the group of people that makes comments like that of Thomas Watson, president of IBM, when he said in 1943:“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
I am part of this revolution, and I love it!
7. What are your biggest hopes and fears regarding the future of blockchain technology?
My biggest hope for blockchain technology is that it will be adopted widely enough to create a new era of trust and transparency. I strongly believe that we are onto something great with blockchain technology that will bring trust between business and consumers back into place.
There will always be a massive pushback from people and organizations that fear change, especially as this technology could expose and force change upon very powerful, existing, high-profit industries.
8. Have you invested in ICOs?
Yes, I’ve invested in Omnitude, and I’m dabbling in cryptocurrencies directly as well.
9. What’s your claim to fame?
While working for a FTSE 100 company, I’ve managed to get a range of processes and systems changed which saved the organization over a £1m. I was responsible for this from the conception of the idea all the way through to Plc level Board approval, and then I was asked to implement it as well. Part of it involved scaling a team of 46 people down to 12, without requiring additional investment in systems or loss of quality of the final output of their work.
10. What does the success of Omnitude look like to you?
The success of any business is in my view not an end goal but a journey with important milestones along the way.
Some of the measures of a successful business, and more specifically, a successful Omnitude, includes the following:
· Having a happy and well-motivated team.
· Creating an environment whereby external parties aspire to be part of the Omnitude ecosystem, whether as an employee, developer, client, partner or end-user.
· The day when everybody refers to Omnitude when they speak about Blockchain.
· The cherry on top must be the day when we can confidently say we have now made a real difference in people’s lives, especially in so-called third world countries.
Being first is not the most important, being and remaining the best is what counts!