The 2019 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Ireland Awards are now less than two weeks away. Now in its 22nd year, the high-profile awards programme works to recognise, promote and build a supportive community around Ireland’s high-growth entrepreneurs. CameraMatics founders Mervyn O’Callaghan and Simon Murray are finalists in the ‘Emerging’ category and we took the opportunity to interview them.
How do you feel about the finals?
It’s an immense privilege to be finalists in the awards and this level of recognition really makes all the hard work worthwhile. We’ve been very fortunate to have had access to some very experienced mentors and people willing to share their expertise and experience. It’s fantastic to be recognised as entrepreneurial leaders ourselves in this way.
What do you think are key factors in you making CameraMatics a success?
Our customers have always been, and will continue to be, our focus. We started the company because we could see that there was a real need for fleet managers to have more data and information than what was currently available to them. We could also see that it needed to be in one package, not lots of disjointed bits and pieces.
In our previous business – eDrive – we provided outsourced technical and customer support services for a large portion of the telematics and driver safety technology company market. Knowing the fleet industry inside out has made a real difference.
Having grown eDrive to installing into 10,000 vehicles per month we sold it so we could focus on ProVision (now CameraMatics) and develop what we felt was a much-needed complete vehicle and fleet safety solution, based around connected cameras.
What was the best advice you received?
To focus on the customer. There’s a real temptation, for tech companies particularly, to skimp on the research, get excited about an idea and run away with product development. Sometimes what developers think is needed isn’t actually what those on the ground need.
So, the best piece of advice we were given was to start with the customer, to find out what it was that fleet operators actually wanted and needed, and develop the technology from there. That’s exactly what, as CameraMatics founders, we’ve done and continue to do.
How did you put that into action?
A lot of research and robust testing! For example, before we launched the CameraMatics Go app it underwent robust testing among a closed group of leading fleet operators to ensure the technology exactly fits the differing needs of operators of all sizes.
We’re always keen to take on board feedback and each and every innovation and development is based upon our mission to empower and simplify the lives of both fleet managers and drivers. We do this by combining all key fleet risk management, safety and compliance needs into a single powerful platform – CameraMatics
Innovation and development is constant at CameraMatics and our two-year plan for product development includes camera-detection of driver fatigue, mobile phone usage, tailgating, potential collision warnings and not using indicators. Further down the line we’re looking at driver wellbeing and detecting drug and alcohol usage.
And where next?
Our mission is to be leaders in improving road safety and improving driving standards globally. We’re expanding. As well as our three bases in Ireland (Dublin, Monaghan and Waterford) and our London base, we’ve recently launched our US operation with an office in Richmond, Virginia and we’re already making a splash in the market there. We plan more growth down the line too, particularly into Europe.
Thanks to CameraMatics founders Mervyn and Simon for sharing their success with us and good luck for the finals on 21st November!