Are you ready to pivot your business strategy in today's rapidly changing world?
In this episode of the GreenBook Podcast, we welcome Julian Dailly, the founder and CEO of Savio, to discuss the critical role of workforce agility in today's business world. With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies must be able to adapt quickly to changing market demands and have creative recruitment strategies to attract and retain top talent. Join us as Julian discusses how to minimize overhead costs, respond promptly to customer needs, and stay ahead in today's business world.
You can reach out to Julian on LinkedIn.
Many thanks to Julian for being our guest. Thanks also to our producer, Natalie Pusch; and our editor, James Carlisle.
Hello, everybody. This is Lenny Murphy and welcome to the GreenBook Podcast. I am sure glad that you have chosen to spend some of your time with us. So, thank you. And today, we have—it’s always a special guest; always a special guest here on the GreenBook Podcast.Julian:
Thank you very much for having me, Lenny, very great to be on your podcast to meet your wonderful audience.Lenny:
And for the audience, right, we have a global audience, but for our Americans, you know, it’s always a pleasure to hear such a great, cultured British accent. It just makes everything sound better. It’s like Shakespeare.Julian:
Yeah, you got Hugh Grant on today.Lenny:
[laugh]. Yet closer than many people might know. But yeah, we’ll stop blowing smoke although it’s certainly fun. So Julian, why don’t you tell our audience a little bit about you and a little bit about what we’re cooking up a Savio, and then we’ll go from there.Julian:
Yeah. Well, I started my career a long way back in finance originally. Worked for the big motor company, Ford, a big Sainsburys supermarket, and then I made my way through consulting. And eventually got into research, where I helped found Savanta. It’s a UK market research agency which is expanding all over the world.Lenny:
So, [laugh] for our audience, kind of full transparency, and as you hinted at, yes, we at GreenBook saw the same opportunity a few years ago. We started building a platform to help enable that—a gig platform as it was positioned—for the research industry. And that’s cool and interesting and we can talk about Savio some, but I think what’s more interesting for our audience is this idea of what we both envisioned, that there is a need for agility in workflow workforce in the industry. And this is pre-pandemic that those thoughts were coming up, and where we are today and what the future of work looks like overall.Julian:
Yeah, I mean, it’s a big topic, so we’ll try and simplify it. But you mentioned the pandemic and in many ways the pandemic gave rise to new things, but in other ways it accelerated things that were already happening. You know, businesses have always, kind of, tried to maximize their flexibility, reduce their overheads, trying to be nimble and agile. And that’s something which has always been there because technology has sped things up and it’s made, you know, more things possible, quicker. And the businesses ultimately in this sector have to respond to their customers and their customer’s customers.Lenny:
So, one of the interesting points I think you kind of hinted at, but it goes back to the genesis of the, you know, I think, our mutual thinking on this was as the industry became more technology-driven and as tech companies emerged more and more as key drivers, there’s also financial considerations for them. You know, the SaaS business model, by design, doesn’t have a strong service capability, right? Kind of the general rule of thumb is 80% of the revenue needs to be SaaS-based. Something less than 20% should be service-driven. So, that’s a real conundrum for those in an industry that you cannot disconnect a service need from. You know, at least not yet [laugh], right? We’ll see.Julian:
I think so yeah. The human component can never really be removed. I think because of the nature of research and its relationship with insight, I think it’s different to data, which can I think be fully automated. You know, many big platforms that people use all the time are fully automated. You know, your Google Analytics, stock trading data, et cetera, these kind of fully automated inputs, I suppose, to decisions, to business processes.Lenny:
Yeah. No, I love that. I love that. Now, let’s step back for a minute, though, because I expect our listeners are all going, “Sure, yeah. All that makes sense and, you know, we get the pragmatic realities of this need to find the connection point between service and technology and enable that.”Julian:
Yeah, I mean, I think that one of the things that’s really going for flexible working in market research, analytics, insight, is that the price points that flexible, contingent workers, freelancers can come on are actually really high and demand for them is also really high. And it’s driven really by, you know, the shortage of full-time talent in a way. So, it’s certainly being used as a solution for a scarcity of full-time hiring. But also, there’s this draw towards more flexible resourcing.Lenny:
Now, you know, it’s a great point around the community component of that. And I think probably the pandemic brought that into focus.Julian:
I’m only responding to what people are asking me to do.Lenny:
That—well, which is hence what we’re supposed to do, right, as leaders. And it just has broader—the things that interests me, always—I mean, I like building cool stuff that has pragmatic results, but the idea of where does this take us, right? What are the transformative elements of that longer term? And for me, personally, I get really jazzed by anything that promotes opportunity for people, right, to achieve their goals on their terms, based on their needs and priorities, right?Julian:
Yeah. I think it’s about allowing for people within the industry to go beyond a one size fits all, and certainly not about judging people, you know? We now have electric cars. We didn’t used to have electric cars. Some people have them, some people don’t.Lenny:
Yeah. That’s great point, too, right? We talk a lot about, you know, being agile. Well, this enables that ability to experiment with a lower risk profile across the board. So, that’s a great point. I want to be conscientious of your time as well as the listeners. So, now you do get to pitch a little bit. So, where is Savio in the process of coming to market? And what can we expect to see over the course of the next few months related to the launch of this idea?Julian:
Well, I thought I had been pitching. I wouldn’t turn it up too much. Savio is launched now. We have got a good stock of talent. I mean, that’s been one of the most inspiring parts of this whole journey, really, is opening up the doors to vendors who want to work more flexibly, want to get access to buyers, and meeting many, many of them on the way in.Lenny:
That sounds good to me. So—[laugh]. It’s great. And again our listeners, I want to be clear. Yes, we have a personal interest in this, and okay, fine. But this trend of… we’ll call it the gigification, right, of work—Julian:
That’s a good word.Lenny:
You like that one? All right. There we go.Julian:
Yeah. Well, there’s so many things out there, but I think, just to butt in—or give my, sort of, two-pence worth on that question, I think one of the things that this could give, and it’s a real important part of my vision for this is, it could give very talented people, very motivated people a chance to own something game-changing. And, you know, I’ve always been slightly suspicious of things which are, you know, not changing because they don’t like change, or, you know, very traditional things. I don’t want Savio to be, in the end, you know, a funky cool business with a very traditional capital base with, you know, VCs and everyone, kind of like, valuing it like a piece of meat almost, you know? I think that one of the big yields that comes out of Savio is its potential value as a business.Lenny:
And I could not agree more. Love, love, love, love that. And listeners, now you know why I consider Julian a very special guest. Not just because we’re working on this together, but that type of thinking, that fresh thinking about what does the future look like? We all need to engage in that.Julian:
Well, only that I’m all ears for all ideas. That actually rhymes. And so, if any of the listeners have an idea, they’ve got a bit of feedback, suggestion, just go to savio.pro, find one of the emails there, the contact forms, whatever, I’d love to hear from people. It’s very much an open loop type of organization, as you know, Lenny, and if people have, you know, good ideas, thoughts, ways that we can make this happen, I would absolutely love to hear them and try and get them into the plan.