Ken Tsisandaina is the Managing Partner of Red Samurai. Part community, part enterprise, his team focuses on technology innovation and values to help companies move forward.
Ken, you and your team have imported a digital concept for companies in Reunion Island. Can you tell us about it?
Indeed, a few months ago, my partners and I shared this desire to work in an environment in which we would feel more fulfilled. Our background in service companies and startups was less and less suitable for us, as it was too competitive, too individualistic and too result-oriented. We spent several months testing different models, starting with the creation of a digital agency, passing by the creation of a collective of freelancers but in the end, we arrived at a very different result.
We wanted to create a business and we finally succeeded in creating a way of life. A digital way of life, focused on people in their natural environment: collaboration and transmission.
What can Red Samurai bring to companies in difficulty or in search of fulfillment?
Beyond our digital skills (digital marketing, development, information systems, etc.), what interests our clients/partners the most is our way of working. We import this way of working into companies to help them gain agility and efficiency, always with the employees at the centre.
We forget the plans and strategies decided in “top-down” mode and we put the priority on small unifying actions, with simple and measurable objectives. We take action and work in collaboration and co-construction.
In this way, we have co-constituted several concrete actions with our clients/partners during collaborative work sessions:
– Gain visibility and notoriety
– Responding to sudden change
– Improve the customer journey and experience
– Initiate a process that has been dragging on for a year
– Acquire new customers.
Collaborative work sessions are always limited in time (two days maximum) and take place in one location. This is essential for us to share objectives, information and our enthusiasm for the subject. At Red Samurai, we call it SPRINT.
How can technology improve the social and entrepreneurial condition?
The main interest we find in digital tools is that they allow us to test an idea very quickly and measure its impact. Ideas that don’t create value are thrown away, we focus on the essential. This saves a lot of time.
For example, if you have fun measuring the real impact of your numerous daily meetings, you will quickly realize, with very simple tools, that you can easily eliminate more than 80% of them without impacting your activity. Can you imagine the time savings? That’s time you could be spending elsewhere, with your family or just enjoying yourself.
What is your opinion on digital transformation? Can it eventually affect companies in all sectors of activity?
Before being technological, digital transformation is cultural. Forget about plans and strategies for transformation that will never see the light of day, because they are too far removed from reality. Focus on very simple and unifying actions, but start now.
If you need to improve your customers’ journey and experience? Forget the plan and take action. Gather a team of 5 to 8 people, organize your collaborative work session and activate the co-construction mode. This is the pillar of the digital culture, we don’t wait for it to come from above, we act.
You started with a technical profile, with a specialization in web development. How did you discover this entrepreneurial streak?
I don’t consider myself as a company director, but as an entrepreneur, that is to say, someone who has the desire to undertake, who doesn’t wait for things to change but who changes things, who doesn’t suffer but who acts, rather in action than in reaction. I learned all this during 34 years and it continues… And I am sure that many people are capable of doing the same, you just have to dare and start!
Do you have any advice for those who are still hesitating to embark on the entrepreneurial adventure in Reunion Island? Is there any help or guidance available?
In Reunion, there are indeed many mechanisms to support the development of companies. The communities and theState attach a lot of importance to them but we must be careful because they are only tools. The basis of a successful entrepreneurial experience remains motivation and therefore desire. If you start your project without any real desire, but only because the tools are easy to access (subsidies, support, etc.), you will then run into a series of difficulties. All these tools should be seen as a plus and not as an indispensable part of your project.