Getting To Know: Liza Russell, CEO, Inbotiqa

Liza Russell

We speak to female fintech powerhouse Liza Russell about what defines her way of doing business, and what advice she would give to someone starting out.

What do you currently do?

I’m the CEO of Inbotiqa. We provide an enterprise email workflow and analytics platform that reduces both operational and regulatory risk, boosts productivity and provides in-depth data analytics that drives continuous improvements and streamlines processes. As the CEO of an early stage growth company, I’m known as the Chief Everything Officer. It’s my role to keep the ship steady and do whatever is needed to grow and scale the business.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

I can’t take any credit for the inspiration. This came from Ludre Stevens and Vishal Shanbhag, our Co-Founders. They worked together in Financial Services and came up with the idea of creating an intelligent business email platform for high-volume shared mailboxes after a corporate action instruction was missed and resulted in a significant regulatory fine. It was clear that email was not going to be replaced and that we needed to embrace and control email to make it fit for purpose. Ludre and Vishal had the vision and tenacity to create YUDOmail and this has continued to grow, integrating with Chat systems and Voice to create an omni-communication channel for business.

Who do you admire?

I admire many people for many reasons, be it their skills or sheer determination to get things done. There are too many to list here but I am inspired by people who have great leadership skills and who share this by coaching and mentoring and giving back. I think it’s incredibly important when you’re managing and growing a team and business to share knowledge and skills as well as support each other emotionally through personal development.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

If I had my time again, I would have joined a start-up sooner.

I worked in Financial Services for many years, managing and leading large teams and departments but working in a start-up is a completely different experience. The journey is raw and real, and game-changing decisions can be made in minutes, not weeks or years. Being able to recruit a diverse group of people who fit in with the team culture and want to share the journey is exciting and humbling at the same time.

What defines your way of doing business?

Pragmatic, collaborative and client focused.  I’m an honest, pragmatic person. If my cup is half empty, it’s half empty. It means that I need to remain focused and work hard to fill it up whilst also being conscious not to let it slip away. I have a great team and use their skills, experience and guidance to support me in steering the business. This has always worked for me as it brings out the best in people when they’re contributing and engaged in decision making. Without clients, there is no business, so focusing on their needs and solving their business issues is key to relationship building, referrals and a successful business.

What advice would you give to someone starting out?

Starting a new business is tough. You need to be incredibly focused and resilient and believe in your product. Have a good business plan, be realistic, research your market and try and surround yourself with a strong, diverse team. One person can’t do it all alone.