When Pedros Bados was an engineering student, he most likely never dreamed of becoming the CEO of a company that would one day achieve unicorn status. After co-founding Nexthink with Patrick Hertzog and Vincent Bieri in 2004, on February 8, 2021, the company was happy to announce it had reached the $1.1 billion valuation. It has not gone public, but Bados still has plans of taking the company to that level. Here is your chance to learn more about how the CEO co-founded Nexthink and his plans for the future.
1. How He Came Up with the Idea of Starting Nexthink
According to Forbes, Bados was doing his masters in computer science and electrical engineering, with a specialization in Information Technology. He studied at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and did an advanced research project on artificial intelligence.
When he presented his project to reviewers, one of them happened to be an IT director at a renowned watch company. The reviewer was so impressed by Bados's research that he said he would buy it if it ever were transformed into a product. With that kind of confidence in his work, Bados saw the opportunity of starting a business; hence Nexthink was established.
2. His First Customer
Some people will mean what they say, and one of them is the reviewer who pushed Bados to start Nexthink. As luck would have it, when Nexthink began operating, the IT director became the company's first customer. You would think that after nearly three decades, the watch company has deserted Nexthink, but until now, it remains one of its best customers.
3. His Prediction of the Digital Workplace in the Next Five Years
Although Bados studied IT when it was not as widely popular as it is now, businesses have increasingly become aware of the immense advantages of integrating technology in the workplace. The CEO, therefore, anticipates that in the next five years, the workplace will have lots of technology complexities exhibited by more connectivity and a dispersed workforce. He told Digital Switzerland regardless of how crucial IT becomes, employees should not manage their own IT needs because it will distract them from their core duties.
4. Why He Prefers Having Nexthink Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland
Despite growing to serve customers beyond the Swiss borders, Nexthink has remained primarily headquartered in Lausanne. It still has a US headquarter and various offices in Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East, but Bados has a few reasons why he prefers maintaining its headquarter in Switzerland.
First of all, he believes that Lausanne is home to one of the world's best engineering schools. Consequently, Nexthink can easily tap into fresh talent, which enables them to beat the fierce competition. Furthermore, the company believes employees should have stability for optimal productivity; since most have their families in Switzerland, shifting headquarters would destabilize them.
5. He Had to Take Nexthink to the International Level Fast
Time and tide wait for no man, especially when you live in a small country like Switzerland where you can easily be overtaken by significant competitors. Therefore, as Bados explained to Channel Insight, since the local Swiss market is small, the company had to go international early, which was quite a challenge because Nexthink was still a startup.
According to Bados, while companies in France can wait for their funding to grow to at least $10 million, small companies do not have that luxury. As soon as they hit about $2 million, they have to think of going international.
6. He Expects the Company to Go Public in a Couple of Years
Going public is usually the dream for most companies since it affords them the ability to quickly add their capital. However, even if Nexthink has been making good returns with recurring annual revenue of at least $100 million, Bados thinks it is still not the right time for an IPO. The CEO believes that before the company can go public, he should first double the business. In 2017, he had hoped that they would reach the IPO level by 2021, but it seems that Bados is taking his time.
7. He Prioritizes Diversity during Recruitment
Diversity enables companies to have various opportunities since employees can also relate to customers with similar backgrounds, cultures, and languages. Bados, therefore, told TechCrunch that the best way to achieve diversity is to have it in mind through the recruitment process. Nexthink's commitment to diversity and inclusion has seen the company have a diversity committee charged with ensuring that the workforce is diverse and inclusive.
8. Why He Would Want Nexthink to be Listed in the US Stock Exchange
Most companies prefer listing in NASDAQ due to the cost savings associated with lower listing fees. Besides, the requirements are not as much as other stock exchange markets. Bados's primary motivation to list on NASDAQ would be because it is the only one with an understanding of how software companies should be valued, which is crucial considering that 95% of Nexthink's revenue comes from software.
9. His Company is only One of Four Swiss-based Startups to become a Unicorn
Bados is one man who sees an opportunity and grabs it without hesitation. During the announcing of the $180 million Series D round of funding, he revealed that the increase in remote working since the pandemic struck has necessitated the company to incorporate a Digital Employee Experience. As a result, the company needed funding to help facilitate innovation, expansion, and rapid growth. With that $180 million, Nexthink reached a $1.1 billion valuation making it among the four Swiss-based startups in the US ever to attain such a huge milestone.
10. Why He Hired Bruce Chizen
Bruce Chizen is the former CEO of Adobe and Bados saw the importance of having him join the board of directors at Nexthink. The CEO believes that if Chizen could transform his former workplace by providing remarkable user experiences, he could do the same for Nexthink, especially now that the Digital Employee Experience is the main goal.
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Written by Allen Lee
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