A chat with Avetta’s ‘new’ CEO – what the next 12 months hold for Europe

We spoke to Avetta (end-to-end cloud-based global supply chain risk management) last year following their merger with Browz, making them “one of the clear leaders in perhaps the most ‘under the radar’ procurement solutions market,” according to our analysts at the time.

Nine months later and we have just caught with up with them again -- and they have a new CEO. Arshad Matin has been heading the firm for three months now, travelling internationally to get to know the business, their clients, their needs and to accelerate growth and development plans, which includes the UK. In fact he had not long arrived back from Maidenhead, Berkshire HQ when we spoke to him.

Arshad comes across as a very genuine and personable CEO – interested in the role because he believes in the company’s values and mission rather than in running a company “for the sake of running a company,” as he said. He is not a home-grown supply chain safety & compliance veteran, but hails from a tech background, having run three software firms previously. This is his fourth CEO role – so a pretty experienced leader.

He was also a partner with McKinsey in a previous life where he helped build out their software practice in the US. So he’s been around software for most of his career, but is excited about Avetta because he sees it as a firm in a very interesting space, and one which is not ‘all about the platform,’ but has a mission-oriented approach, and that is to be the one source of truth for the supply chain. A big endeavour, but his vision for the company is very clear: “to seize every opportunity to use software, data and partnerships to reduce risk, enhance  safety, regulatory and policy compliance, sustainability and social impact, and to ‘connect’ customers and suppliers all over the world.”

Avetta operates in a “somewhat niche — though quite sizeable and rapidly growing — area of the supplier management and supply chain risk management worlds … one about which the vast majority of procurement and supply chain organizations know quite little about the inner workings,” said our analysts when the firm launched its Connect platform last year.

An interesting space to be in

It’s fair to say that Avetta has been around Europe for about 10 years – but is not quite as well known as it should be in a world concerned with ESG, risk, compliance and H&S. It has offices in the US, Canada, EMEA and APAC regions, and is working on expanding its strengths in the UK and across Europe. “It’s an interesting space for three main reasons,” Arshad tells us. “First, it is a space that is wide open to skilled players. If you look at the number of companies around the world that use a platform like ours, it’s a pretty small number, maybe 10 percent. The others are managing supply chain risk manually with spreadsheets, and we believe inefficiently and ineffectively. So there is a lot of growth potential out there. But our growth isn’t driven by this need alone, we are being pulled increasingly by our clients into areas that go way beyond compliance and safety.”

“Secondly, what’s interesting about our model is that we perform on both sides of the supplier/buyer field, a place where few companies in the world have the privilege to play. Our potential lies in finding new ways to partner with clients and suppliers in a way that makes sense for everyone, so that we can be that player which makes it most efficient for both parties to work together.”

“Thirdly, our company is growing so rapidly, following last year’s acquisition of Browz and eWebOQ and through organic company growth, that we will be twice the size we were when our investors bought us - we are very well positioned, and it’s a nice place to be.”

So what does the coming year hold? we wondered – read about that in part 2 tomorrow.

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