10 Things You Didn’t Know about Cem Savas

Cem Savas

Plentific is on a mission, a mission to improve people’s lives by making property management simpler. It all started back in 2013, when Cem Savas and Emre Kazan united over their bugbears with the current state of property management in the UK. After deciding it could and should be better, they set out to create a company to help it do just that. Plentific’s function is simple enough – it provides a transactional marketplace to homeowners, landlords, and property managers to allow them to find and hire repair, maintenance, and home improvement professionals with just a few clicks of the mouse. Having already dominated the UK and German markets, Plentific now plans on tackling the US. Find out more about the man driving its success with these 10 things you didn’t know about Cem Savas.

1. He’s got a degree in Finance

Getting ahead in business doesn’t require a degree these days. The list of successful start-up founders who dropped out of school is long and getting longer by the day. Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerburg, Michael Dell, Evan Williams…all college dropouts, and all multi-billionaires. But packing school in is a risk, and it’s a risk Savas decided not to take. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and E-business from DePaul University, he continued his studies at the Otto Beisheim Graduate School of Management, graduating with an MBA in Finance and Innovation in 2006.

2. He started his career at Ermgassen & Co

In 2006, Savas took the first steps in his career with a role in Mergers and Acquisitions at Ermgassen & Co. A year later, he moved to HSBC, where he again worked as an Associate in Mergers and Acquisitions. After three years at HSBC, he took on the role of Vice President at Nomura, where he worked for just under 2 years. By then, he’d clearly had enough of being on the payroll. In December 2011, he quit his job. A little less than a year later, Plentific was launched.

3. He founded Plentific with Emre Kazan

In 2013, Savas teamed up with Emre Kazan to found Plentific. They’d both had experience of property management and were convinced that it could and should be made better. As On Digital Shop writes, they originally intended the business to have a consumer focus, providing directories of approved tradespeople direct to customers. Since then, it’s changed its focus to offer both the social and private rental sectors with cloud-based repair and maintenance services.

4. 2020 was a phenomenal year

Savas, who serves as Plentific’s CEO, has grown the business at an extraordinary rate over the last few years. 2020 proved to be an especially strong year for the startup, with COVID promoting an increased demand for digital offerings. The headcount doubled to almost 200 employees in the space of 12 months alone. They also doubled down on their position in Germany, expanding from a presence in one city at the start of the year to 20 by the end, resulting in a 1700 percent increase in the number of units managed through their platform. The number of registered contractors, meanwhile, has grown by 4200 percent.

5. He’s just raised $100 million

If 2020 was a good year for Savas and Plentific, 2021 has been even better. This August, the company closed $100 million in new investment during a funding round led by Highland Europe, RXR Digital Ventures and Brookfield Technology Partners, Mubadala Investment Company, and existing investors A/O PropTech and Target Global. Already, Savas has big plans on how he intends to use the cash injection. “Our next step is to rapidly expand in the U.S., as well as look to begin operating in new geographies,” he says via TechCrunch. “We have only just scratched the surface of a $2.5 trillion potential market opportunity. We will now be rapidly expanding both our global footprint and the solutions we offer to become the de facto digital partner for landlords and service providers across the world.”

6. He’s an award winner

Over the past year, Savas and Plentific have started racking up awards left, right, and center. As well as being named to Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50, they’ve also been shortlisted for the Most Collaborative Business Award at the PropTech Awards and had their work recognized in the technology category at the UK Housing Awards.

7. He thinks intent, insight, and innovation are key to success

When Plentific started, it worked on a B2C model. It’s since transformed to B2B. Speaking to aoproptech.com, Savas explained the reason for the switch, along with the underlying values he believes have helped turn the start-up into a success. “We focused on the intent – the why – why are we doing this? And our purpose became clear,” he explained. “It helped refine the value proposition and working on pilots with housing associations became the fundamental means to finding the right product-market fit. Insight is like our mana, it’s been so integral to the process. Which is a nice segue into the importance of innovation in the process. We don’t innovate in isolation – it’s purpose-built and highly collaborative.”

8. He speaks three languages

Since the start, Plentific has operated on a dual front, concentrating as much on building its operations in Germany as in the UK. Fortunately, Savas has a headstart on building business relationships in both countries, speaking both German and English at native proficiency. He’s also fluent in Turkish.

9. He’s a popular boss

A lot of CEOs talk about how important culture is to their business, but when it comes down to it, they don’t all walk the walk. Savas does, at least according to his popularity ratings on Glassdoor. 84% of company employees approve of the CEO, while 78% would recommend the company to a friend.

10. He’s got big plans for the future

Plentific is already one of the biggest startups in the property segment in the UK, but Savas doesn’t plan on stopping there. His plans for the future are incredibly ambitious – not only does he want to cement the company’s position in the UK and Germany, but he plans to tap into the US market, onboarding 2.4 million residential units in the next five years. He also plans to increase the company headcount from 200 to 650, in addition to entering new markets through strategic acquisitions.

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