Cardiff University graduate and entrepreneur, Andy Porras, shares how he brought his #ideastolife and started his own business…
I graduated from Cardiff University in 2014 with an MSc in Financial Economics, having also completed my undergraduate degree with the university. Since leaving Cardiff I have spent some time working in a ‘Big Four’ firm and have recently set up my own company, Pontus Global Solutions.
Pontus is a business services company specialising in marketing and product introduction solutions. We look to incorporate the latest digital/marketing technologies when handling the introduction of overseas products into the UK market.
What inspired you to start your own business?
Coming from a family of business owners it has always come as second nature to me to look for opportunities and assess how to exploit them. However, I have definitely taken inspiration from starting off as an employee for a huge multinational business and understanding exactly how its business model works.
Once I understood the basic principles I applied it to my own idea and off I went!
How will your business benefit from your career experiences e.g. knowledge, skills, contacts, partners?
The biggest benefit from my career experiences so far has come from the development of my professional conduct and client-facing skills. Being able to assess the person I am speaking to and adapt to their quirks/personality to help build trust is a huge skill which I have managed to apply when running my own business.
People buy from people, so being able to see what makes a person tick quickly has been priceless for me.
What challenges have you faced and how were you able to overcome them?
The biggest challenge has been winning the first contract. My business partners and I started off quite young and fresh out of university, which meant we were quite raw when first approaching prospective clients. Also in our line of business your portfolio is everything, so convincing the first client to take that leap of faith was difficult.
We overcame this challenge as a team and because each individual within the team is incredible at what they do. Innovation is key and we have consistently managed to collaborate in order to deliver new and creative solutions for our clients.
What advice do you have for Cardiff University students wishing to start up their own business or venture?
Have a plan! It’s important to dream big but you make it a reality by focusing on the next step. Being able to see the end game in small achievable goals is the key to making it happen.
What are your future goals?
My future goal is to become a business angel. Being able to use my experiences and have a hand in the development of a portfolio of businesses is definitely the dream for me.
Introducing global solutions
You can find out more about Pontus Global Solutions here.
Inspired? Get involved with Cardiff University Enterprise and Start-up!
Do you have entrepreneurial inspirations and aspirations? Cardiff University Enterprise and Start-up could help you realise your full potential in business and entrepreneurship. It’s all about thinking creatively, spotting opportunities, making things happen and developing skills for life. It’s not just about business; it’s about helping you to make the most of yourself.
We run workshops, competitions and sessions to help you develop skills and knowledge. Find out about all our courses and sessions on the intranet, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, with #ideastolife, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Andy Porras, Cardiff University Graduate and Entrepreneur.
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