Walk into the working area of KLOUD, Keppel Land’s latest foray into serviced offices at Keppel Bay Tower, and chances are you’ll meet the friendly folks behind Mavericks Consulting. This small and compact team is a consultancy set to shake up the digital and software engineering industry in Singapore with their Agile take on things. (For the uninitiated, Agile is a software development methodology that is based on iterative development)

We spoke to Managing Director George Ie to find out about what they do and why working at KLOUD is so enjoyable.

Hi Mavericks, can you tell us why you decided to start your company?

We saw the potential in helping both local start-ups and established companies reinvent themselves to become more effective and successful in their endeavours. We also wanted to groom the next generation of talent in Singapore.

Most of us were formerly from one of the top IT software consultancies in the world which championed Agile best practices. We wanted to tap into our wealth of experience — collectively, we have worked in both the public and private sector, spanning many industries from Financial Services, Retail, Education, Healthcare, Transportation to Manufacturing and Logistics.

Cool! Could you explain to our readers what you do? How do you “help crystallise ideas and turn them into scalable working solutions”?

In this day and age, we have so many start-ups brimming with great ideas as well as established businesses trying to reinvent themselves in order to remain viable and stay ahead of the pack. Most of these founders and business leaders have great ideas but don’t have clear business “values” that align with their stakeholders’. This often results in the lack of an actionable plan which can help validate their ideas quickly and scale their business effectively. Ignorance of these “end-to-end” business values can lead to business failures.

Our company adopts the world’s best Agile design and software development practices. We work closely with our clients to innovate continuously and evolve through collaboration and feedback from end-customers.

We help by identifying their core business value(s), and then further develop innovative business solutions as well as product strategies that can deliver their expected business outcomes. This mapping of “ideas to values to solutions” provides clarity and alignment, and allows our clients to focus on realising their dreams quickly — in weeks instead of the usual months or years. After all, time to market is crucial for all businesses.

What makes Mavericks different from other business consultancy companies?

Software development competency in Singapore is generally behind Europe and the US by at least 5 to 10 years. No one in the US speaks of Agile (the methodology) anymore, but in we’re still finding our way in Singapore. We’re currently in the phase where we’re trying to adapt to new ways of solution design and development.

Every single one of us in Mavericks is really passionate about our craft, so it’s natural that we’re keen to share and grow with our fellow Agile practitioners.

What makes us different is that our Mavericks spirit: we’ve come together from all over the world to challenge limits and constraints in order to constantly innovate. We see our clients more as partners.

What’s the company culture like?

We highly value balancing work and fun. You can say we have a strong start-up feel with many young Mavericks. We believe that great people attract more like-minded people. Being a flat organisation, everyone has a say in how the company runs.

We are open and believe strongly in sharing and collaborating; continuous learning and experimenting is the way to go. Solving complex problems, helping people and getting working solutions out fast keeps our hearts pumping!

What’s the most complex business problem you had to solve so far?

As a collective, Mavericks has delivered a long list of complex systems successfully including a good mix of solutions for banks, airlines, government agencies, MNCs, online retail platforms and more. The most complex problem is often not the business problem but the inherent personnel problem within organisations, as well as the buyer-provider mentality that inhibits good collaborations.

One of our strengths is our ability to understand these roadblocks and find different ways of breaking them down while working as partners to deliver solutions quickly.

Do you have any advice for young companies like yours?

"Fail fast! That’s the best suggestion we would have for any company. Try and validate whatever your idea or vision is as quickly as possible, fail fast and correct your course — that’s the only sure way to growth and success."

The more focussed, nimble and adaptive your company is, the better position it’s in to meet market challenges and future needs.

What drew you to KLOUD?

It was love at first sight. We were looking for a place that matches our company culture and image. After exploring many serviced offices, we loved the location, surrounding amenities and office setup at KLOUD. And the great view helps a lot too! The crew supporting us at KLOUD has been great from the start, and we feel right at home. This combination of a great place with great people was an offer we could not refuse.

What is the environment like at KLOUD? Do you have any interesting stories to share?

We’ve had great opportunities to meet a number of good companies who are at KLOUD as well. Recently, we participated in a mooncake festival celebration organised by the KLOUD team and the turnout was great! From making mooncakes to a pomelo-peeling competition, we got to interact a lot with other KLOUD tenants and had good fun. It was great feeling that sense of community.

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