What was the landscape of ISB Global when you joined in 2015?

ISB Global has been successfully trading since 1999. The business model then was an SAP consulting organisation, filling a niche position between the Business and IT teams. Hence, the company name is Integrating Systems and Business.

In 2005, we pivoted, becoming an SAP reseller and focusing on the environmental and waste management sector.

I was brought into ISB Global to grow the consulting side of the business, and when I joined in 2015, we were a close-knit team of 13 people. We have since scaled our teams substantially. We had 14 clients on the books at the time, all of which were SMEs, and whilst boasting modest revenues back in 2015, we have 6X our revenues since then.

Tell me about the business - what it is, what it aims to achieve, who you work with, how you reach customers and so on?

ISB Global develops and implements our software, Waste & Recycling One (WR1), which integrates, automates and simplifies to drive greater operational efficiency and profitability for organisations operating in the waste, recycling, clean energy, and environmental sectors. We are committed to making a significant difference globally in how the world deals with waste and recyclable materials.

We seek to deliver greater productivity for organisations by implementing a suite of integrated cloud software platforms from leading software vendors with a team of industry and software technology experts.

The benefits of our software solution span the entire business process, including accuracy, profitability, cost control, sustainable operations, customer service and competitive advantage. We are creating clean, efficient operations that contribute positively to the environment and changing economy.

We work with businesses of varying sizes that operate in the waste, recycling, clean energy, and environmental sectors, and we reach those businesses in various ways. We knew early on that it was not enough just to be a ‘tech’ business like many others; we needed to be immersed in the sector, attend trade events, show thought leadership, and be present where our customers are, which is what we look to do with our commercial efforts.

How has the business evolved since you joined?

The business has learnt a lot about the waste sector since 2005 and pre-2015. Many environmental, waste and recycling companies would rather employ more staff or buy another truck than invest in software, but we can see the market slowly changing.

I joined shortly before the onset of BREXIT in 2016; we felt we had to spread our marketing efforts and looked towards larger businesses and, more specifically, into the US. We had some outstanding success then in 2019 with a large US Waste Haulage and Recycling Company. From there, we embarked on an ambitious project to re-write our existing software onto a new Low Code platform, giving us the scale, security, and brilliant user experience the sector demanded.

This project has set us apart from our core competitors, who continue to re-design and de-develop their legacy systems, creating more technical debt in their products, hampering their support organisations, and frustrating their customers.

To date, we have invested over £15M in this project, with the major launch of the Rumpke and WastePro USA application in 2023. This has all been organically funded.

Tell us about the working culture at ISB Global

The committed individuals working at ISB Global are much more than employees; they are a close-knit team of eco-warriors. It’s vital that we create and enable a culture that ensures people feel part of the family and part of the mission. The team and I have a long way to go in doing our bit for the planet, and we take great strength in being in it together.

We have grown rapidly and are conscious of the challenges that come with that, and so to support this growth, we have been successful in our application to an Innovate UK Edge Scaleup Program, which started in January 2022. A key focus of the program has been to address Organisational Change, covering the rapid changes in employment needs, particularly after COVID. During the year, there were several significant projects to scale up our employee programmes, including revamping the review system, conducting culture surveys to assess how people felt about working at ISB, and implementing new benefits structures to ensure we were doing everything possible to look after our people.

We encourage flexibility in our team's day-to-day lives and aim to be as accommodating as possible to the individual needs of our people.

How are you funded?

100% self-funded.

What has been your biggest challenge so far and how have you overcome this?

The biggest challenge has been truly understanding the waste industry and all of its nuances. To provide the most advanced software in the sector, it’s critical that we understand it better than anyone. We overcame this with the help of our incredibly knowledgeable team, many of whom came from backgrounds working in the waste sector, and the strong relationship with our customers, who helped teach me invaluable things about the industry sub-verticals in which they operate.

How does ISB Global answer an unmet need?

With the constant changing of environmental regulations and legislation, there is a continued need for compliance and management of environmental information and data.

ISB Global provides the only fully integrated software in the sector with integration all the way through to finance. The results are one source of truth and the ability to use accurate real-time information for organisations utilising the software.

What’s in store for the future?

The world is waking up to waste, and we want to remain at the forefront of driving the needed change. There is finally a worldwide focus now on poor waste management practices. A lot of discussions were held at COP26 and again at COP27 and 28. These conferences align with the Paris Agreement's terms, whereby Global Warming should be no more than 1.5%. It’s recognised that improving waste management practices towards the circular economy and net zero can significantly positively contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

ISB’s part of helping the planet meet global targets is through technology, and we are incredibly proud of the products we have built to date. Waste & Recycling One sits in the crosshairs between environmental and economic progress.

To ensure we are ready to meet the challenge, we are doubling down on specialism in our sectors and commitment to our mission.

From 2018 to 2023, we have increased our personnel by 350% (from 30 to 130) and our revenue from 2mil GBP to 8mil GBP, with forecasted revenue growth of 20% year on year.

We have developed locations in Cape Town, North America, Portugal, and a centre of excellence in Lahore, Pakistan. In Cape Town and Lahore, we have acquired our own offices to secure our tenure and highlight our commitment to growth, particularly in Lahore. In West London, we have doubled our office space to accommodate the much larger team (on a hybrid basis).

What one piece of advice would you give other business leaders?

Limitations are self-imposed, so think outside the box. The tech landscape is constantly evolving, offering endless possibilities. Don't be confined by traditional thinking.  Embrace bold ideas and challenge assumptions to discover groundbreaking solutions.

And finally, a more personal question! What’s your daily routine and the rules you’re living by at the moment?

My typical day has a 5am start and begins with a double espresso and workout in the gym, followed by meditation and breakfast with the family. Then it's into the working day, ensuring our teams have everything they need to succeed that day and that our customers are happy.  I focus on maintaining a positive attitude and outlook to all challenges that come my way and pass this on to my team, too.

A positive attitude is contagious; don't wait to catch it—be the carrier. As a husband and father and the leader of a thriving commercial team, there is a lot to pack in, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Pritesh Pattni is Chief Commercial Officer at ISB Global.