Anish Kapoor

CEO and co-founder, AccessPay

Anish is the CEO and co-founder of AccessPay. He has a 20 year track record in building companies that transform industries.

He co-founded TeleCity, which paved the way for high speed internet access across Europe. 80% of all internet traffic in Europe now flows through TeleCity infrastructure.

He then co-founded Yuuguu, which changed the economics of enterprise collaboration technology. This technology now powers the world’s largest conference calling company.

He was a member of the advisory board to the UK Governments’ Technology Strategy Board, and is an investor in and advisor to a number of venture capital backed technology companies.

1. What values are most important to you as a leader? 

Being open – I think it’s really important that you set the tone by being really open…about decisions you’ve made (or not made), what you are thinking about, etc. This is hard to do – because people will see that not everything is cut and dried…and sometimes you change your mind!

Letting the best ideas win – it’s really easy for the loudest / most senior person to dominate a conversation. I find that when you involve other people, particularly the ones that are less vociferous, you get better, more thoughtful input. I’m constantly challenging myself to say have we had the right input this decision…is there someone else we can involve. The challenge here is that you will get ideas and views that you may not agree with (at first)..but you have to let the best ideas win in decision making..regardless of where they came from.

2. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

My parents – they are 1st generation immigrants to the UK, who came here to build a better life for themselves, but more importantly for their kids. They made huge sacrifices and worked 24×7 to give me and my sister opportunities they never had. Whenever I feel sorry for myself…I think about what they went through…and my problems then seem trivial by comparison.

3. Best piece of advice you have been given?

Get yourself mentally into a place where you can make decisions without fear. This is hard to do – but when you get there, you can operate with this amazing freedom and creativity.

4. What would you tell your younger self?

Spend more time with your family and friends. Work is important – but not to the expense of your close personal relationships.

5. What has been your most important or profound lesson as a leader?

That my job is to communicate a vision and build a team of great people who can make it a reality. This is a very different thing to being able to code version one of a solution!