You can't crack under pressure!
► Celonis, a Technical University of Munich spin-off that analyses its clients’ business processes, was named Germany’s fastest-growing tech company by Deloitte. CEO Alexander Rinke explains how he has managed this breakneck growth.
TECHNOLOGIST How did you earn this distinction?
ALEXANDER RINKE Our revenue rose 3,951 per cent between 2011 and 2014. We sold our services in 13 different industries. Our clients include giants like Vodafone, Bayer and Siemens.
TECHNOLOGIST What are the dangers of this success?
ALEXANDER RINKE Developing a start-up that quickly is a real challenge. The main danger is that the vision gets lost because of the growth. When you’re a small team everyone knows the company in detail. But when you have 50 or 500 employees, everything changes. We constantly have to remind people what we’re trying to accomplish.
TECHNOLOGIST What is the recruitment strategy for a fast growing start-up?
ALEXANDER RINKE We already have 60 employees. A start-up is under pressure when it needs to recruit people quickly, and it’s tempted to hire the first person who walks in the door. The key is to avoid hiring people who are not up to par. That could have a negative impact on the work environment, so it’s better to wait and find the rare gem.
Interview by Clément Bürge