Celebrating entrepreneurial success in the UK
The Spectator Economic Disruptor of the Year Awards 2019 is now open for entries. We want to hear from entrepreneurs in every business sector across the UK who are eager to share how their company is bringing radical changes to their industry.
Follow in the footsteps of Pockit, Rradar, Amplyfi, Touchlight, See.Sense and Warwick Music Group - winners of the Spectator Economic Disruptor of the Year Awards 2018. All of these firms showed true disruption in their sectors and we are now looking for the winning firms of 2019.
A drive to change lives
Martin Vander Weyer, Business Editor at the Spectator, recently met with Virraj Jatania, whose low-cost banking app Pockit was the overall winner of the 2018 awards.
Virraj Jatania is the scion of a respected Asian business dynasty who made their fortune with Lornamead, the personal-care products empire, which owned brands such as Vosene shampoo. Entrepreneurship, he says, is “our heritage…My brother and I started young, running a video rental club when I was 13.” He wanted to put his UCL degree in computer science and business management to use, but he didn’t want to be a cog in a corporate machine. He had an idea for a start-up venture that would fulfil a genuine social purpose – by bringing banking to the unbanked and those who are badly underserved by established providers.
He loves the hands-on challenge. “As a founder, you do everything from dealing with customer service issues and fraud screening to creating a strategy and a framework for scale,” he says. What is clear is that Pockit’s progress is down to clarity of focus: on the needs of a specific customer group that has been ill-served by the banking industry, and on Virraj Jatania’s personal drive to live up to his family’s traditions by making this a “a very big business” that is “changing people’s lives”.
Pockit impressed the 2018 judging panel, who commented that was its clear social purpose that stood out.. It is a very clever banking app, but it’s also created to tackle a very serious problem.
Do you have what it takes?
If you are the founder of an entrepreneurial firm that is going places then we encourage you to enter these prestigious awards. The entries can come from any sector and all corners of the UK. There will be five regional winners and one overall, National winner. Shortlisted finalists will be invited to attend the awards ceremony on 13 November in London.