Since graduating from Cass Business School, Todor Madzharov (MSc Management, 2011) has been helping many graduates and students find jobs at one of the UK’s top hiring apps, JOB TODAY. While performing this role, Todor has also taken on another project to help improve employee productivity by creating office phone booths from sustainable materials. Meet MEAVO!
Find out more about Todor and how he secured his dream jobs below:
Can you tell me about your time at Cass?
It was an amazing year and the best part was meeting all the great people. I did not expect such diversity in terms of academic and professional background – in my course we had people who had studied gambling, engineering, business, chemistry and sports sciences. It was amazing. Spending time with these people was the best thing and really gave me a new perspective on life and business.
The nature of the course meant that as well as academic knowledge, I also developed great networking skills by mixing with students from all over the world.
What happened after you graduated?
It did take me several months to find the right job. Most of my classmates were going into consulting and were applying for jobs months in advance. They were participating in the graduate schemes of big companies. However, joining the corporate world was never tempting for me. I was looking for a job in a startup, I wanted to challenge and disrupt the big corporates, not join them.
Eventually, I was lucky to get a digital marketing role at a really promising startup. There were a dozen people trying to disrupt the huge and established lettings agency industry, by digitising the process and by making tenant fees and vetting more transparent.
JOB TODAY‘s office in London was located in a cool new coworking space, we had our own rooms, cool kitchen, free beers and everything! But, like in most offices, meeting rooms and privacy areas were hard to come by. Multiple people were constantly on the phone and taking important calls was difficult.
My colleague Thomas and I started browsing for office phone booths online and were amazed by how expensive all options on the market were. Half jokingly, I said “Thomas, let’s build our own, how hard can it be!?” A few months later we were already prototyping booths in a few different countries! As it turned out, it was a lot more difficult than we imagined and took us more than a year to develop a market-ready product. We wanted to do it right – with good, eco-friendly materials and manufacturing in the EU. Luckily, once we released the booths, people really liked them and the business just took off.
What have been the biggest challenges?
Prior to MEAVO, I had only been involved in digital businesses – Software as a Service (SaaS) companies. It’s been a steep learning curve operating a business heavily dependent on supply chains from multiple countries, managing stock and inventory, dealing with logistical issues, freight companies and customs procedures. Luckily, I had decent understanding of most of these areas from courses taken during my MSc at Cass, such as supply chain and operations. Recalling some of the concepts we studied and applying them in a real world business situations has been rewarding.
There are a couple of things that I have thoroughly enjoyed since starting the business. Number one has been the feedback we have been receiving from our customers, they really enjoy the product. More importantly, we have many customers telling us that they weren’t able to afford a phone booth in the past and are so happy to finally have access to an affordable solution which makes no compromises with the quality and experience.
Secondly, Thomas and I are really keen on building a company that provides good work life balance for all employees, a company that people feel happy at. Giving our employees the flexibility to manage their own time, giving them the opportunities to grow professionally and, last but not least, providing a fair remuneration, are the three pillars we want to grow our company on.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?
Be brave and be curious. If you are not happy or don’t feel challenged in your job, look for something better. In this day and age, you don’t have to wear a suit and be in a Canary Wharf office to be considered successful. London is an amazing place, there are thousands of small companies that are looking for smart and driven people and will give them the opportunity to grow and learn. You have to take these opportunities.
Thank you to Todor for sharing his story!