Growing Fast

A Crewe-based business is on a recruitment drive to triple staff numbers after being named one of the fastest growing technology companies in Europe.

Telecoms provider eZe Talk, which is headquartered on Eaton Street, saw off thousands of companies in the UK Deloitte Technology Fast 50, an independent ranking of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies, to take the top spot for the region.

In a separate global award, the Deloitte Fast 500 EMEA, eze Talk were also winners and ranked 87th in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Both awards are based on percentage growth over a five year period.

Founding directors, Steve Walsh and Mike Taitt, received their awards at a ceremony in London and were congratulated on achieving 1547 per cent growth over the past five years.

The pair believes the company’s success is down to a combination of great customer service, dedicated staff and continuous product innovation.

“We’re not in business to win awards but the great thing about the Deloitte awards is that it is recognition from respected and independent industry experts who understand that achieving such levels of growth over a five year period – especially in the midst of a recession – is not just about acquiring new customers but is about retaining existing customers by consistently delivering the highest standards of customer satisfaction. This is key to our business.

“What we do – provide telephone and broadband to residential and small business customers – isn’t unique,” explains Walsh. “But we do try to set ourselves apart in other ways.

“For example, we don’t use overseas call centres and handle all customer enquiries here in the UK with our own dedicated in-house team. This means we’re able to closely control and monitor customer service.

“We’re also constantly introducing new services. Next month, we’ll be launching a mobile phone supply and billing service which complements our current fixed line and broadband offer. It means we’ll be able to control the costs of calls to and from our mobiles, and create unique packages for our customers that will give them increased flexibility and cost savings.

The directors’ plans go beyond telecoms. As Taitt explains: “We have invested a considerable amount of time and money into developing a business management system that automates many of our routine business processes.

“It not only enhances our customers’ experience but also drives efficiency within the business which enables us to drive down costs and keep developing new services.

“As well as addressing our own internal needs, it now provides us with an additional revenue stream as we market it to companies with similar business models as ours.”

Despite the success of eZe Talk, the directors do face frustrations:

“We are hugely ambitious. Like most entrepreneurial businesses, growth is at the forefront of our plans.

“Although organic growth through slicker marketing and new product innovation will be key to achieving this, we are keen to make some targeted acquisitions, too.

“Unfortunately, like a lot of SMEs, we have been frustrated in the past with the lack of funding available.

“Hopefully, this recognition from Deloitte will help open a few doors.”

David Halstead, partner at Deloitte, said: “The Technology Fast 50 and Fast 500 EMEA awards are an opportunity for businesses to gain recognition for their successes and achievements over the last five years.

“Steve and Mike have proved that tremendous growth rates are still possible. They are to be warmly congratulated.”