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Staying Close to the Frontline

Current CEO at Push Doctor and Former International Operations Director at Just Eat

IP Interview
Published on March 1, 2020

Why is this interview interesting?

  • Why it's important to spend time on the frontline as a CEO
  • How to stay close to customers and employees
Executive Bio

Wais Shaifta

Current CEO at Push Doctor and Former International Operations Director at Just Eat

Wais has a deep, unique experience scaling and running multiple digital marketplaces across different sectors. Wais is currently the CEO of Push Doctor, the digital health marketplace, where he leads a team of over 100 to transform how medical consultations are performed. Wais previously spent 3.5 years at Treatwell, the beauty salon digital marketplace, as Director of Global Operations, and started his career at Just Eat, the leading global online food marketplace, when the company was under 20 employees. He spent 7 years as International Operations Director where he was responsible for opening and scaling the service to new countries.

Interview Transcript

Anything else you would advise to young leaders today?

I think, more than anything, not being too distant from your brand, your product and your people. I have always spent time in call centers, sales teams, the product team, engineering. It’s very important for me to be engaged with the team. Whether you set up weekly meetings, monthly meetings, whatever it is, it’s very important.

It’s very important to stay in the front line with your supply. Even today, I go out with the sales team when they’re signing up a potential NHS partnership to see how they do it and hear what’s going on in the market. I spend some time in a call center, listening to what our consumers are saying. Reading Trust Pilot feedback, reading Glassdoor feedback, reading NPS, reading app reviews and so on.

I think the big thing for me is, one, as a leader of an organization, don’t get too distant from your team and don’t get too distant from your customers, supply or consumers. This is going to be quite philosophical, but life is too short. When you’re sitting there and you’re a leader in an organization, don’t worry. You’re in that position for a reason. Just be sure of yourself. If you’ve got confidence and are sure of yourself, it breeds on other people. Unfortunately, the moment people see some vulnerability or some panic or concern, they will take advantage of that.

Particularly with young leaders, because young leaders see that. There have been millions of times, and I still am today, the youngest individual in most rooms, it is fine. You’re the CEO or the leader for a reason. Remember that. Don’t forget that. You are great; you are cool. Continue that and have that confidence and don’t let anyone bring you down. Life is too short for that.

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