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Friday, 08 September 2017 13:03

Access to Talent: Endeavor Pipeline Company, i-Pay Gets a Headstart

EY Vantage Advisors spend six weeks on the ground with Endeavor Entrepreneurs, leveraging their professional knowledge as high-performing employees at EY, to work on business development and consulting projects. The Advisors help the entrepreneurs’ companies to evaluate technology solutions, improve financial reporting, initiate organisational improvement initiatives, and much more.

Thomas Pays is the CEO of i-Pay and Electronic Fund Transfer disruptive start-up. i-Pay is an exciting online payment gateway that allows instant payment in all smart mobile and desktop devices for both buyers and merchants’ bank accounts. i-Pay is an Endeavor Pipeline company and was one of the FNB BIA 2017 finalists. i-Pay has gained traction not only in South Africa, but has recently opened in Nigeria as well.

Prior to the EY Vantage Programme, Thomas Pays and his team had four areas they needed assistance with: 1) how to scale a business globally in 100 countries, 2) how to identify and grow the staff compliment needed to achieve this global scale, 3) what type of international structure to set up in order to achieve this global growth and, 4) how to retain top talent in the business.

Susan M. Barton: Business Development Tax Leader at EY, a strategic leader and expert in building and leading top performing teams spent 6 weeks at the i-Pay offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. She focused on exceeding goals in the areas of tax, sales, marketing, and territory development/ management, reached out to her 140 000+ highly specialised colleagues at EY around the globe. Each was requested to provide their opinion in each area they would be able to assist, this allowed i-Pay to compile a document consisting of the roadmap to follow over the next 5 years.

Thomas regards taking responsibility for a new team member, albeit for six weeks, a challenge for a start-up. Time is always of the essence, yet Thomas advises; “this programme will allow them (entrepreneurs) to gain a 6-18 months heads up from a 6-week programme.” Despite the minor hiccup Thomas thought he was facing, he and his team made the absolute most of their time with Susan and ended up feeling as if he and the team had not had enough time to pick Susan’s expert brain. “Everyone told me before Susan joined us, beware of the time as the 6 weeks fly fast, and it ends before you know it even started.”

Thomas would “absolutely!” recommend the EY Vantage Programme to other entrepreneurs. “Entrepreneurs gain insightful, actionable advice to drive their companies forward and increase their value as engines of quality job creation and sustained economic growth in their communities” said Thomas.

Since the Programme launched in 2005, EY Vantage Advisors have supported over 300 entrepreneurs in more than 30 countries across the globe.