Belfast-based IT company leads the way in digital transformation
EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist Brendan Monaghan, Neueda
Neueda founder and managing director Brendan Monaghan: “I am most proud of achieving ten years of positive profitable growth for Neueda despite the turbulent times of 2007-2008”
Neueda is a Belfast-based partner to international market leaders in government, utilities and financial markets where it provides digital technology solutions to elevate their business operations, customer experience and bottom line.
The company’s founder Brendan Monaghan began his business career 30 years ago in Powerscreen’s design and drawing office, tasked with using CAD software to find innovative ways to adapt its products for new customers and markets. This sparked his lifelong passion for solving complex business challenges.
Over the years he held senior roles spearheading successful business units in market-leading companies like BIC Systems and last year’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner Kainos but he always had a burning desire to build his own company. Given this he set up Neueda in 2006.
The privately-owned and self-funded company has grown substantially in the last few years. Neueda, with its 220 seasoned business experts, data analysts and IT specialists in Belfast and London,it has ambitious plans to continue this growth trajectory until it reaches target revenues of £100 million.
Describe your growth funding path
One of our founding principles has been financial stability. From day one, we have grown organically by reinvesting company profits and keeping company borrowings low. This brings restrictions on growth but over the last four years we have grown over 30 per cent each year through careful cashflow management and without the need for external investment.
Where would you like your business to be in three years?
Neueda will be three times the size it is now; we will have acquired our first company and will likely have two additional international offices, a New York-based sales and business development office and a European centre of excellence.
What is your greatest business achievement to date?
I am most proud of achieving 10 years of positive profitable growth for Neueda despite the turbulent times of 2007-2008. From inception, we ensured diversity in terms of our markets, customers and geographies, to mitigate against negative macro forces. Thankfully, we were fully prepared to weather the storm.
Describe your business model and what makes your business unique:
Neueda partners with like-minded, innovative companies and individuals to deliver our services, allowing us to mobilise very quickly to deploy transformational solutions that reduce cost, improve customer service levels and increase sales. We deliver real return on investment and work in true partnership with our customers at every stage of a project.
To what extent does your business trade internationally and what are your plans?
Some 60 per cent of our business is outside Northern Ireland and our main locations are Dublin, London (Canary Wharf and The City of London), New York and Chicago. Over the next two years we expect to achieve £30 million of turnover with 80 per cent coming from export markets. Our plan is to win business and service the majority of those opportunities from Belfast.
What is the hardest thing you have ever done in business?
Standing up in front of a company and telling everyone that we were closing it - this affected 80 people including myself.
What was your biggest business mistake?
Not trusting my gut and being involved in the company I ended up closing. The original idea for the company wasn’t fully thought out and from the outset, there were signs of problems ahead. I struggled to articulate my concerns, most of which were realised in the end. The key lessons were to make decisions early, understand that challenge is good and never bury your head in the sand.
What is the most common mistake you see entrepreneurs make?
Not talking to potential clients early enough, closely followed by not taking the customer’s feedback .