In this instalment of our ‘Meet the Founders’ series, we chat with Richard Nischk.
My name is Richard Nischk, I am 34 and married to my wife, Jess. We have two children, a four-year-old girl, Sophia and a 15-month-old boy, Oliver.
We also have a Jack Russell, Fizzy, who is firmly part of the furniture. We now live in Walmer in Port Elizabeth where I work mostly remotely from my home office, outside of commuting to Cape Town and soon to be the UK, when necessary.
I am one of Cue’s co-founders and executive directors, and I focus on a few key areas within and on the business. My role in the business has shifted throughout our 9-year journey from ops, sales, people and product to more recently, International expansion, key partnerships, commercialisation and working with my legendary co-founders and investors in gearing the group for a sustainable, global scale.
I am originally from Kwazulu Natal where I went to high school at Maritzburg College.
I then studied and completed my undergrad degree at Stellenbosch University before deciding to travel and work around the world for a few years to gain some perspective on what my next steps looked like.
I returned to South Africa to Cape Town in 2012 to complete a one-year Post Grad in Entrepreneurship Management at UCT. I remained in the Mother City for 8 years where we started Apex/Cue in 2015.
We then made the move to the Eastern Cape in 2020 due to the Pandemic, with our newly born baby girl, to be closer to family. Seeing that we had no real option but to implement a remote first working environment during the pandemic, I came to the conclusion that I could work from anywhere in an effective and highly productive way, whilst balancing my desired lifestyle and the way we wanted to raise our family.
My life’s purpose revolves around embracing a continuous journey of learning and personal growth, with humility and respect as my guiding principles. I firmly believe in constant self-improvement, both in business and in life as a whole, while remaining steadfast in my core values.
When we reflect on most of the greatest businesses of our time, we observe a striking common thread—an unwavering commitment to assembling exceptional teams of individuals and fostering a supportive culture. These key elements form key foundations for achieving unparalleled success within their respective domains.
Entrepreneurship and Software as a Service (SaaS) have for many years ignited a profound passion within me, as they offer fertile ground for creating impactful solutions to real-world problems and business value.
On a philosophical level, I draw inspiration from the boundless potential of humanity and the realisation of that potential. Witnessing individuals from diverse backgrounds come together harmoniously, working towards a shared objective and vision, fills me with immense gratification within my professional realm.
I’ll start by saying that “switching off” from entrepreneurship or a rapidly scaling business can be incredibly challenging if not seemingly almost impossible at times, but I continuously strive to master this skill. For me, maintaining a healthy and sustainable work-life balance and dedicating quality time to my family, friends, and personal fitness is absolutely paramount.
Given that I have two young children, my spare moments are usually devoted to enjoying the outdoors, cooking and savouring great food, watching sports, listening to music, and spending quality time with my wife, children, extended family, and close friends.
While I have cherished reading since a very young age, time constraints have led me to opt for a podcast’s first approach during exercise or my daily caffeine fix in the early mornings. I do still love the smell and texture of a new hard copy book when opening it for the first time – Is that weird?
Running holds a special place in my life for numerous reasons, particularly trail running and single tracks. Lately, I have developed a keen interest in participating in Ultra trail marathons, constantly testing the limits of my physical and mental endurance to foster resilience and fortitude, among other things.
Beyond running, I find immense joy in playing golf with mates and family and consider myself an ardent sports enthusiast.
Whenever circumstances allow, I also indulge in playing several musical instruments, having played the acoustic guitar from a young age.
This has been a challenging but rewarding journey that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being involved with. Our value proposition is impacted by major network providers and the biggest communication applications in the world, so things change quickly.
We’ve tried to really focus on what value we are creating for our clients and the experience it creates for their end users when setting up any solution. It’s been a journey of continuous improvement in process, optimisations, product and unified collaboration with all of our business units.
Having a great team in place who are relentless in the attention to detail and speed of work has been a pleasure to see. In this realm, even minor errors can have far-reaching consequences for our clients and end users, amplifying the importance of precision and accuracy. Proactive rather than reactive.
The focus and commitment for the last 8 years and for the foreseeable future, has and will certainly be building Cue into a global company and brand, across multiple markets and regions.
However, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t always thinking about the world, everyday life and many of the complex problems that exist within our current reality, that’s just how my mind works. i.e. How can that issue be solved, why is that experience so terrible or inefficient and why has it not been improved on, how I possibly could build a sustainable business model, team and product to try and solve some of these problems?
I’m passionate about software as a solution, which is in harmony with my passions for entrepreneurship, technology and gadgets.
If I wasn’t focusing on the Customer Service software space and Cue, from a high level, I’d imagine that I’d be building a software business and team in the EdTech, Sports Tech or Healthcare Tech spaces, harnessing modern technologies and human potential at its core.
In 12 months from now, I’m pretty confident we will be well on our way to scaling our UK sales, marketing and CS teams to achieve our revenue targets and goals, within the UK and South Africa. We will also most likely be opening up into a new market, investing further in AI, and growing both teams substantially, so watch this space.
Essentially, from a high level, our goal and mission are to make it really easy for our clients to roll out incredible customer experiences and best-in-class service, via modern channels and mediums.
We aim to help our clients increase their revenue or reduce their costs, by optimising their customer experiences and service layer via automation and AI, Live Chat and broadcasts.
We also provide purpose-driven solutions that aid our partners in increasing the uptake of adherence behaviours in healthcare or increasing learning habits via our micro-learning applications.
A single, low-code platform that a business can use to manage their customer support across every communication channel.