The Wonga founder on how he deals with late payments and why word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool.
Errol Damelin talks about how Wonga is changing the way we think about lending and financing.
Damelin about Damelin
Errol, 39, is a global entrepreneur and seasoned executive who loves building innovative businesses with inspirational people. In July 2008 he was named Credit Suisse Entrepreneur of the Year at the South East finals of the UK National Business Awards.
He is the Founder and CEO of Wonga, a ground-breaking online lender backed by Balderton Capital. Prior to founding Wonga, he successfully built two other multi-million-dollar businesses; on different continents and in completely different markets.
He was Founder and CEO of Supply Chain Connect Ltd, which he developed to become one of the world’s leading providers of hosted supply chain collaboration solutions. With offices in the UK and US, the company serviced over 250 blue chip customers - including General Cable, Pirelli, Dow Chemical and DuPont - and was acquired by ChemConnect in 2005.
Errol’s first start-up experience was in Israel where, in 1997, he was part of the founding team at Barzelan Ltd. The business rapidly grew to over 100 employees and became a global leader in advanced steel wire production.
Wonga is undoubtedly Errol’s most ambitious project yet. The company is revolutionising the UK’s huge consumer credit market by enabling people to manage their cash flow without the need for a long-term credit card dependency.
Leveraging purpose-built, real-time risk and decisioning technology, Wonga became operational in 2007 and now provides short-term cash advances to thousands of customers every month - with unparalleled speed, convenience and flexibility. The company is committed to responsible lending and is a member of the FLA.
Errol grew up in South Africa, before spending eight years in Israel. Following graduation from business school, he became an investment banker and, while helping entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality, was inspired to switch roles and become the innovator.
Errol lives in London and enjoys an active lifestyle in his limited free time, including marathon running, mountain biking, sea kayaking and skiing.
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