"We started small and wore many hats": The story of Ink’s growth

Janet Richards, co-founder and CCO of Ink Innovation, shares a story of Ink’s journey and reflects on the company's growth

"We started small and wore many hats": The story of Ink’s growth
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Sleek v2.0 public release is here

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What has changed in our latest release?

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All new features available for all public channel users

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Coding collaboration with over 200 users at once

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A very quick journey

Our story began in the UK. I met Shawn and we decided to launch a company together. In 2011, we relocated to Spain and restructured the company in Alicante. People always ask us, ‘Why Alicante?’ The honest answer is… It was primarily because of the weather—on average, there are only twenty days a year of rain—and a better way of life than London.

We started small, and our staff had to juggle different roles. I used to do a lot myself in a day, from closing deals, customer support and accounting to making coffees. We all were wearing many hats. Today, we have dedicated professionals in each area running multiple teams. We have talented people working from 18 countries, with the head office in Spain and regional locations in the UK, Colombia, Serbia and the Philippines. 

Over the years, we grew organically, and in the last two years, we've gone from a startup to a scale-up company. This year, we crossed the threshold of 100 team members, capping three years of rapid employee growth.

Retain the agility our customers value

Our customer base has also grown over the years. Our key value was and remains the same—to partner with our clients. Some of them have been with us for years and have helped us grow in the market, choosing us over bigger companies for our agility.  

We once had a potential customer visit us to see our mobile solutions. At the end of the day, they left with a signed contract and mobile sets, fully trained to go live with their operations within four days. This is what we are great at—being able to adapt to customers' needs quickly.

Having been in business for 20 years, Ink has outgrown the boutique style business model. Yet we all favour it for open communication, agility and faster implementation of innovative ideas. Still, as we grow, we undergo many changes in our structure that I am sure our customers will benefit from. However, we still have the spirit of a startup and we continue to fight hard to retain the agility that our customers value. 

We enjoy the challenge

We started off developing different web systems and then took on the challenge of creating a new type of departure control system that could compete with the cost of pen and paper. We took a web-centric approach to tackle that challenge. At that time, no one was doing it. 

Over the years, we've expanded our horizons and explored opportunities to apply web technology to various systems, rolling out our solutions in airports. Being able to work closely with customers, we prioritise helping them with what they need to do. We believe in providing unique, tailored solutions that address specific needs rather than just delivering trending software and hardware. We look at the problems airports or airlines face, listen to them and innovate together to develop the best way. 

Today, we deliver a range of solutions for the transport sector that not only help process passengers but also simplify their experience from check-in to boarding. We are taking on a challenge to go further in connecting journeys right to their final destination, ensuring a safe and enjoyable travel experience every step of the way.

At the end of the day, whether you're a business traveller, travelling with a big group of people, or with your family, you want the journey to be much easier. So, we see Ink’s mission as connecting journeys.

Moving into new marketplaces

We are most proud of the development we've made so far and of the growth we’ve seen in the people who have been with us on this journey.

Today, Shawn and I focus on the business's strategy and moving it forward. We are entering new markets, and many more people are joining us. It is always exciting to meet different people, work in different countries and with customers. The future here at Ink is very exciting.

About the Author

Janet is the Chief Commercial Officer of Ink Innovation. She co-founded Ink, led business development and has negotiated contracts with some of the company's earliest customers to multi-million euro deals.

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