Mike Pound tells us how Sheffield’s ‘high quality of life’ and growing reputation for digital tech helped him co-found Qualsys – a ‘tenacious’ governance, risk and compliance management software platform
What inspired you to start Qualsys?
I founded Qualsys in 1995 with my colleague Mike Bendall with a mission to make governance, risk and compliance easier. We created our own high-functioning management system, which now supports major household names on every continent across the manufacturing, life science and food and drink sectors.
What is your favourite thing about Qualsys?
Our software is used by global brands such as BT, Diageo, Virgin Media, and hospitality giant Sodexo. Qualsys products standardise processes, underpin corporate governance and provide a robust framework for managing risk, while driving down cost.
What three words best describe Qualsys?
Authentic, tenacious, family.
Why is the Sheffield City Region a great place to start a business?
Sheffield City Region has long been at the forefront of innovation in several key areas. Sheffield is increasingly being recognised for its digital tech growth and is home to two leading universities. It’s great to have graduates joining us who display the same drive and enthusiasm Qualsys was founded on. We are proud of our Sheffield roots – three of our five directors are graduates of the city’s universities.
Why is Sheffield City Region a great place to grow a business?
It’s the perfect region for a high quality of life, but a lower cost of living when compared with other major UK cities.
What is the best advice you were ever given?
Always employ people who are smarter than you.
What is the worst advise you were ever given?
Never say no! If we said yes to everything, we could spread ourselves too thin or take Qualsys in too many different directions.
What organisations support Qualsys?
Our customers. We work in partnership with them to develop our product roadmap, meaning we have a customer-focused tool which delivers the best possible results.
What are the main challenges facing your industry/ sector?
Orchestrating different areas of the business and managing growth, which can be more difficult with a creative team. It’s about listening to people and giving them the tools they need to grow and meet their potential. We have a generous professional development budget as our company culture is focused on developing and promoting staff.
In 5 years’ where do you expect Qualsys to be?
With new regulations such as the Senior Managers Regime, GDPR, and the Modern Slavery Act, businesses are under increasing pressure to provide thorough records to prove their business is actively taking steps to stay compliant, manage risks and for leadership to effectively govern the company.
Every organisation is realising they can’t compete without having a central governance, risk and compliance management system.
We had record growth in 2018 with revenues doubling in the last 12 months. The order book for 2019 is an anticipated £5m. A 30-per-cent growth plan will see a recruitment drive throughout 2019 and there are ambitious five-year targets – revenues of £50m and a 200-strong Sheffield workforce by 2024.