You’re still here in the UAE, what has happened since we did your spotlight almost 5 years ago?
I’m happy to say that I’m still with Capytech, and we are now in our 9th year. I’m not sure what the statistics of business failures are, but hopefully, we’ve passed the most difficult period!
The past five years have been full of all kinds of challenges, learning and successes. It’s hard to summarise everything into a few sentences, but I’m glad to say that despite some hiccups along the way, we’re still going strong.
When I did my last profile, I think we were a company of just 5, and now we’re almost at 50! It’s incredible the diversity of things you need to think about when you undergo that type of growth. All of a sudden, things like payroll, performance management, offices etc etc. are all real things you need to deal with.
It used to focus just on new clients and building products, but now I find I need to share my focus amongst many more things. I’m slowly learning to delegate better and getting back to where I love to focus, namely having happy clients and building cool things!
Looking back what were your high and low points of your time in the UAE? What reflections can you share?
The high points would certainly be when I decided to leave my work and start something of my own. Then the little victories come along the way when you win big clients who trust you to execute on their e-learning needs. There’s such a rush with this that it would be hard to give up. It’s also great to hear positive feedback and organically grow through word of mouth and recommendations.
The low points would all be around money! As we all know, the UAE is far from a cheap place to live, and there were periods where things got really tight. I admit to suffering anxiety when it comes to these concerns, and I dream of never having to worry about cash flow again!
What were the biggest changes you faced when you came to the UAE?
I had come from living in Riyadh for 2.5 years, and Riyadh back then is certainly not what it is now! So on arrival, it was more of a factor of being spoilt for choice! There’s so much happening here, and it is such a great place to live that I can see myself being here for many years to come.
More recently, and without stating the obvious, COVID posed some significant challenges with the inability to visit loved ones back home in Australia and Singapore. The powerlessness and uncertainty made this particularly difficult. However, I’m pretty happy to say that I think the UAE is undoubtedly one of the best places to be to wait out a pandemic!
If you had your time again what might you have done differently?
There are so many small lessons along the way that it might be easy to look back and correct choices made in hindsight. I’m very much someone that doesn’t want to change the past as it led to the experiences that got me where I am today. Since I’m happy with my lot, then why change anything?!
Ok, maybe I would have bought some Tesla stock or more bitcoin!
Damian Hehir | Co-founder | Capytech