30th July 2018 5 minute read
Capita’s Scaling Partner business is dedicated to securing growth for start-up companies, giving them access to wider Capita capabilities and making introductions to potential clients and suppliers. Here, co-founder Matt Bunn describes the business’ origins, the value they bring to their clients, and why partnering with younger businesses is a strategic move for Capita.
Capita Scaling Partner (‘CSP’) was born after a chance meeting last year with one particularly exciting entrepreneur. They had a fantastic, original idea for a company, but needed support in order to build up their commercial proposition, business infrastructure and sales capability – incidentally, all areas in which Capita excels!
We realised that if Capita already use our expertise to help some of the largest businesses in the UK, there’s no reason why we couldn’t also support dynamic, innovative and ambitious UK start-ups. We saw that there was a gap in the market for truly hands-on, value-add scaling support, provided by an organisation with extensive sales expertise, close client relationships, and day-to-day operational experience.
What’s more, this opportunity presented itself at the perfect moment, just as Capita is building a new strategy focused on engaging with digital innovators and thought leaders at the forefront of their markets.
From a start-up’s perspective, the major benefit of partnering with CSP is that from a very early stage in their life cycle the business can ‘think big and act big’ – it can retain its own culture, identity and agility, while stepping up to an equal footing when negotiating terms with clients and suppliers.
They’ll also receive significantly accelerated market access. Through relationships that have been built up over 30 years, CSP can help a start-up to speak to key decision-makers at our corporate clients. In these conversations, the start-up is supported by a dedicated business development team that works closely with them over 2-3 years to secure business deals from Capita’s extensive client base.
The start-up also gains access to Capita’s capabilities, and can draw on the organisation’s operational capacity of 68,000 employees to solve business problems as they arise and deliver key outcomes. This could be anything from providing introductions to potential customers and suppliers, leveraging our sales and marketing capabilities, or helping to advance the company’s proposition by tailoring it to markets that we understand well.
CSP can also help Capita’s large-scale business partners to work with young, innovative companies. Many big corporates find it hard to interact with start-ups; we can help Capita’s existing partners by giving access to market-leading, relevant innovation but stay safe in the knowledge that we have already performed extensive due diligence on the business and that any operations are supported by Capita as a partner. CSP also makes sure that start-up propositions are tailored to meet their needs and objectives, leveraging our knowledge of the industry and specific organisations.
There are significant benefits to Capita working with young and innovative businesses. It allows us to have exciting conversations with our clients and suppliers, and to bring them new ideas that enhance our relationships and raise the energy of our strategic-level dialogue. It gives us a way of encouraging innovation in our partnerships and forces us together to envisage what our core markets could look like in the future. Ultimately, it’s a means for Capita to support the rapidly growing SME market – creating jobs, investing in new technology and improving the strength of the UK economy.
As partners we behave like co-founders in the businesses that we work with, operating alongside their owners and the senior management team to advance their goals. Being partners means aligning our incentives fully with those of the founding team, committing to a long-term working relationship and taking a minority equity stake in the business. Ultimately, we’re only successful if our partner companies are successful.
To find out more about developing successful business partnerships, read our latest edition of Intelligence, 'Partnering for Success'.