Corporate leaders comprehend what they value, and the importance of ethical behavior. The best leaders exhibit both, their core values and their ethics in leadership through their actions.
The leaders who are effective, customer-centric, and employee-oriented, develop a clear concise, and shared meaning of values and beliefs, priorities, and direction within their organization.
They want every employee to understand the values, contribute to the values, and live the values. Once defined, these elements positively impact every aspect of the organization.
Such leaders exhibit a unique blend of charisma, vision, and character traits that attract people to follow them. One such exemplary personality is Erik Bjontegard, the Founder and CEO of Spark Compass.
Erik has always been driven by the challenge to combine science and innovation in ways that improve people lives. In today’s ever-changing digital world, this is especially significant. Erik and his team have an exciting opportunity to bring unprecedented value to millions of people through Spark Compass.
Spark Compass, a Total Communicator Solutions Inc. company, is a cutting-edge data company that provides real-time data outcomes, specific to real-time actions using unique solution modules, in turn driving better customer outcomes.
In the following interview, Erik sheds light on his journey at Spark Compass, his opinions on the current industry scenario, and his vision for the future of the company.
Erik, please brief our audience about your journey as the Founder and CEO of Spark Compass.
While I was part of the Corporate R&D executive team at Qualcomm, I realized there was a need for a technology platform that would be able to provide value to the connected future – I was part of the teams launching AR, proximity beacons as well as what is now known as 5G.
I left on great terms to build an ecosystem that would be able to connect the world – and this is what the Spark Compass platform does.
Enlighten us on how Spark Compass has made an impact in the industry through its distinctive offerings?
Spark Compass is a data-driven communication platform. It enables its operators to understand the end-users, their location, their activities, and their interest to deliver relevant information and content there and then.
Rather than focusing on one vertical or one technology, we have created an ecosystem that can incorporate and integrate a series of technologies into one common platform delivering the communication. This common communication platform delivers what we call “Data with a PurposeTM.”
Being an experienced leader, share with us your opinion on how the adoption of modern technologies has transformed the ITES industry and what more could be expected in the near future?
As I am an “old” guy having started my career in the USA working on the Space Shuttle and aerospace testing designing on vellum paper with ink pens, being part of the early days of fax machines, copy machines and eventually CAD/CAM, I have been part of the incredible growth of data technologies – from before PCs and the internet.
Now, as an inventor, working on the next revolutions of Web 3.0, Industry 4.0, 6G and the blockchain-enabled financial future, I think we are now about the see another round of disruptive leaps where the utility of the technology will enable us to do more, better and faster.
But I am also concerned that a lot of technologies are used because they are cool and more of a fad than providing real sustainable value. If the ITES industry can remain rooted in the essence of what are we trying to achieve and focus on results, we will steer clear of the fads and focus on the utility.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, what initial challenges did you face and how did you drive your organization to sustain operations while ensuring the safety of your employees?
Being a global company with international customers and having focused on 3 specific verticals at the end of 2019 of Sports, Health, and Retail we were initially hit very hard. Contracts that were just about to be signed after months of work were postponed and shortly thereafter cancelled, clients who had signed contracts could not pay as they had to close their doors – so it was very hard.
We are a virtual team and operate as we preach – we were already mobile-first and could work from home, so really did not need to change that. And, even though we halted all travel, we worked closely with our clients as they transitioned into the “new normal” of remote working. We were already set up for this.
What is your opinion on the changing definitions of organizational leadership post the pandemic?
The pandemic has clearly transformed the way business is being conducted. Some changes are here to stay and can become better for all parties. However, I would put a question mark with the way we often find ourselves in back-to-back zoom/video conferences and if it really is that much more effective.
I used to be able to speak on a call and still respond to emails—at least keep an eye on them—now that is hard. Also, the effectiveness in getting contracts closed and finalized – in the past having the deadline of the return flight home was a real incentive to close the meeting while still face to face.
Now we can say – we will just schedule another zoom and chat then. And I see that many people who are working from home, are now working much longer hours than before, so, every element of progress may have another side to it.
It is now for the organizations’ leaders to strike the balance between always being available working from home vs. actual results.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the data intelligence space?
Explore connectivity, IoT sensors, communication methods, and technologies in addition to the AI itself. How to gather data, how to communicate, and how to deliver the output into the area of influence – those who will get this done will surely excel.
How do you plan on scaling Spark Compass and its offerings in 2022 and beyond?
We do what we preach; we are mobile-first and we can work from anywhere. It is important for us to work with partners to show what can be done—so we like to say we don’t have clients, we have partners—we explore new ways together, work alongside each other to deliver better outcomes.
This is a new level of collaboration. We are also working on brand new interactions by taking the interactions in the physical world such as a stadium, collecting data from it and using this to enhance and activate a virtual representation of that stadium in the metaverse.
Also, collecting data from interactions in the metaverse, then porting this back into the user’s mobile device and or interacting with the stadium. This is where the exciting future for Spark Compass lay the connections between humans and technologies and the connections between the physical and the digital. Exciting times!