During this episode of The Pay Off, we chat with Roger Gregg - President and Founder of Lightyear, and owner of one of the oldest and most beloved pubs in Surry Hills, Sydney - The Carrington. We were interested to know how Roger balances both of his (quite varied) passions, and how much his background and knowledge of the hospitality space influenced the creation of the accounts payable app, Lightyear. Spoiler alert, it was a lot!
In 2010 Roger, who was the operations manager for a large hospitality group, found himself bothered by very manual and paper-based accounts payable problems. Roger, who has a background in computing and was no stranger to technology at the time, started searching for an app to improve this slow, costly and often error-ridden process. To his surprise, he couldn’t find one.
Propelled by the need to solve a problem they had experienced first-hand, Roger and his brother Chris, future Co-Founder and CEO of Lightyear, set off on a tech adventure that would change everything for them. Ideas became a reality and Lightyear was born.
Even though Roger and Chris were entering into the world of tech, they weren’t about to forget the meaningful lessons the world of hospitality had taught them. During our chat, Roger explained that customer experience and treating the customer well played a paramount role in the success of Lightyear. Selling a product or service comes a lot easier if you’re helping solve customer problems and putting your customer at the centre of it all.
The Lightyear team found that smashing phones looking for new sales just wasn’t an approach they wanted to take. It wasn’t the right fit for them. They discovered that by taking a “care” approach to their existing client base, the word spread organically and they ended up meeting and exceeding sales targets.
Roger told us of his experience of building the Lightyear team, and told some truths that resonated well with KeyPay. He reminded us that attitude and a good culture match can often outweigh capability when engaging new hires. Hard skills can be taught and passed on, but finding someone with an existing cultural alignment who’s going to work well with the wider team can ensure the new hire hits the ground running.
We loved hearing more about the Lightyear story and picking up a few pearls of wisdom from Roger’s experience. Lightyear’s values and approach to work align with KeyPay’s in many ways, and our main takeaway from this conversation was that if you put people first: both customers and staff; you’re going to achieve better and more genuine business success.
What did you take away from this one?