The question we ask ourselves here at Revolut is: Are we thinking big enough? Interview with David Schilperoort, Business Development Manager
Business Development – quite a wide area to be managed! Is it as big as it sounds? How does your department support Revolut every day?
We interact with nearly all areas within Revolut at the moment. Whether it's product partnership, a distribution style partnership, a growth partnership – there’s a lot of different flavours to us.
When you boil it down to its core, what we do in Business Development is act as the outward facing entity for Revolut to speak to all partners. Creating commercially relevant partnerships with different individuals, whether that be Shopify or Google, Amazon, and many others. We’re the external face of Revolut, making sure that we're pushing that face forward. And then also making sure that we gain the best partnerships for Revolut, and our customers - of course.
There are some key areas, and growth is a big one for us at the moment. So that's a particular area where we're working with partners in order to promote the great services that we provide here at Revolut. For example, the On-Demand Pay team definitely follows that type of trajectory at the moment. We're looking to work with third parties like Oracle, SAP or ADP to promote the On-Demand Pay solution as well as facilitate the integrations that need to go with it.
Another area that is particularly interesting is Revolut Business. We’re looking to scale this team a lot at the moment. We want to extend our cooperation with providers who work with business customers so their clientele can make the most of Revolut Business products.
What’s your role in the department?
I currently head up three main areas for Business Development. The first one is On-Demand Pay, the second is Revolut Business, and the third one is around our API functionality for business. API is just a fancy word to name the ability to offer a particular functionality to businesses that are willing to integrate our services.
The key thing in my day to day work is to make sure that the team is very clear about their objectives, excited about the work that they're doing, and that they understand the work they’re doing is very transformational! You might be doing a similar type of project in a typical bank, but the way that we approach the problem is very different.
Which skills are essential for a member of the Business Development team at Revolut? Are there qualities which can make the work easier?
The first one is grit. It's a relatively nebulous word, but I think that grit means a never-say-no attitude, and that's a key factor here at Revolut. It links to the Never Settle value that we want from our Revoluters. An ability to press ahead, to push, to probably receive a lot of nos, but keep on going. It’s a big part of being in Business Development.
Another one is creativity. Often you find yourself in situations like commercial negotiations where parties disagree quite firmly about a particular issue. And you have to figure out a way to get a win-win situation. It requires thinking outside the box, because if you kept on going the same way that you were going, you'd be at loggerheads for the rest of your life.
And then the final one – and it probably goes for Revolut across the board – is a fair sprinkling of chutzpah. A bit of self confidence, a bit of self-awareness and the ability to understand the really great company that you work for and represent them appropriately.
What’s the most successful project you’ve been working on with the BD team?
Probably the On-Demand Pay is the most successful thing that we've been doing. From the very beginning, which was around the second half of last year, to where we've got to today – we've grown the team by more than 25 times. From a Business Development perspective, I think we've done really well. We’ve signed, got on board and facilitated integrations with a number of the largest payroll and HR softwares providers in the market.
The On-Demand Pay feature has been successfully launched in the UK, and as you mentioned your team has a lot to do with it! Could you share some behind the scenes of this project? Are there plans to extend it to other countries or implement more options?
I'm a big advocate of the philosophy behind On-Demand Pay. I'm super proud that it provides customers the right to their own pay. We’re at the forefront of supplying and making sure that people have access to their pay. One of the main reasons you get paid in a bi-weekly or a monthly timescale is due to a business's cash flow situation. It feels massively unfair for an employee to have that burden placed on them.
So what we're doing specifically in Business Development for this project is looking to provide integrations and partnerships with some of the largest payroll, time and attendance, and HR softwares in the world.
On-Demand Pay is available in the UK at the moment, but this is Revolut - so of course we have plans to expand it in the future.
Which of Revolut's values do you feel the most often in your daily work?
It would definitely be Never Settle, Think Deeper and Get It Done. Those three are the prime things that people within BD actually do.
You're often having to deal, not only with internal stakeholders, but obviously external stakeholders. And so you have to have a really good understanding, not only of your own solution, but also a completely different organisation and potentially multiple organisations. You have to do the due diligence, and dig a bit deeper into those companies. You have to wear a lot of hats, because you're engaging with marketing people, technical people, operations people. You're very much like a mini CEO in the role that you operate in, because you have so many fingers in different pies.
You celebrated your first anniversary at Revolut a few weeks back! What are the highlights of your Revoluter journey? What are the greatest lessons you’ve learned?
I really like the working ethic here. Maybe I'm just waxing lyrical, but I don't think there's another company in the world where you have such intelligent and driven people in one single organisation. They're really working to redefine a vast majority of the financial and non-financial world. Not only that, they're also doing it at an incredibly high calibre, because they're competing against the rest of the world - and they’re doing it well. I think that's amazing to work for a company where you can say that with a straight face. That's a big aspect for me.
The big lesson I've learned, that is very unique to Revolut, is that we're in a very privileged position at the moment. We're a well-funded organisation and there's a lot of situations where you have to adapt your mindset. You don’t necessarily have to be as concerned about most of the constraints a typical business would face. Instead the question we find ourselves asking a lot of the time here at Revolut is: Are we thinking big enough?
What’s the greatest thing about working in the Business Development team at Revolut?
I think it’s similar to what you might see from a CEO in their operations on a day-to-day basis. You're not an expert in Marketing. You're not an expert in Product. You're not an Operations expert, but you interact with all these individuals and you have to work together to get things done. It's a lot about soft skills and ability to influence people.
One of the key reasons that gets me excited about working in Revolut’s Business Development is the diversity of work that you have, these dispersed teams across the world, and very intelligent individuals. You have this truly global mindset, which I think is a really great thing.
The way that we operate forces you to challenge yourself and learn every day, largely because of all these smart people who challenge you. When you look at yourself a few months after you've joined Revolut, you'd be surprised how much you’ve grown without even realising it. All these smart and driven individuals around you, push you to get to that level, which says a lot about the spirit and transparency within this organisation.
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