Credit and credibility: Meet Gregor Mowat CA
The CA spoke to Gregor Mowat CA, Investor and CFO at Credit Improver, about innovating with a credibility gap.
What does your job involve?
Everything from finding potential investors to planning and implementing the marketing strategy. My partner, Thomas Eyre, Founder of Credit Improver, and I operate a lean business. We use contractors and do a bit of everything ourselves.
In a nutshell, what is your company’s business model?
We offer people with little or no credit history an opportunity to demonstrate that they can manage credit responsibly in a way that will not leave them with unaffordable debt.
We do this by providing them with a book full of credit management tips that they pay for through instalment credit. Each payment is recorded on the customer’s credit report by the Credit Reference Agencies and this means that their credit score improves, making it easier for them to access affordable credit.
The product works so well that we offer a money back guarantee if a customer’s credit score does not increase.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Working with a super-energetic entrepreneur who has built Credit Improver through five years of hard work, but still has 100 new ideas every day.
… and the worst?
Having had a huge brand behind me with KPMG, I now understand the credibility gap faced by small companies. We start every introductory meeting explaining who we are and why we should be trusted. It requires huge amounts of energy.
Proudest moment so far?
Launching our new website in October, which looks amazing and which we did for less than half the price quoted by a large advertising agency.
What’s your next challenge?
Scaling up our customer base and expanding overseas.
How’s your work/life balance?
Absolutely fantastic! I love the challenges of my job and the fact that our product helps aspirational people left behind by the financial system. Working largely from home by the sea in Dorset also helps…
What do you do to relax?
I swim in the sea every day (yes, including at Christmas and New Year).
How has your training as a CA helped prepare you for this role?
Finance, accounting and business management skills, an unshakeable approach to ethics, and credibility are all CA attributes that I rely on every day. When I enter meetings as an unknown quantity, I know that the letters CA stand behind me.
What advice would you give to other CAs looking to pursue this career route?
There are so many ways that a CA qualification can be successfully deployed. I spent 22 years in public practice but there is nothing to stop you becoming an entrepreneur immediately. Just make sure you qualify first because the credibility of the qualification is as valuable as the skills you acquire in training.