Interview with Andy Alhadeff, Savient MD and Founder

22 April 2024

2024 is an exciting year for Savient and we are delighted to share the first a several interviews with key members of our team as we approach the launch of our Savitrace product.

In our first session, Andy Alhadeff MD and Founder of Savient takes some time out from his busy schedule to share some insights into the company, his vision and why this is such an exciting time for the business.

Q: Tell us about Savient?

We are a technology company based in Cheltenham.  Initially specialised in providing access to hard-to-find skills around high volume data and security software engineering, enabling innovation and speed of implementation in large data and zero trust architectural environments, over the last 8 years we have grown to provide services to Government, Finance, Legal, Education and Engineering sectors.

The team’s 30 people and growing, our business is 3 core activities:

  • Provision of Skilled People
  • Programme delivery on behalf of our clients
  • Development of our own products and tooling.

These streams have enabled Savient to offer the people, tooling and approach to solve data challenges for any organisation.

Q: What was your vision when you created Savient?

Savient is about making time around project delivery for creativity and curiosity, and to explore and test leads and problem spaces with ideas. A place where we trust and enable the people who join us to do their jobs with freedom to challenge what’s achievable. Where Sunday afternoons still feel good. We value technical excellence to deliver innovation in complex areas and the real target of our vision was to develop products that would make a difference to the world we live in.

Q: Why is Savient different?

Our vision is for Savient to be a people first business with a strong CSR and outreach programme built into the way we work. This plays out in the partnerships and relationships we develop with our customers and the business community in the South West.

Some of our most rewarding moments are in school outreach activities with students, helping to shine a light on someone’s potential and seeing the look of realisation and excitement on their face. A lot of our team get very involved in Savient led projects and volunteering in areas that are important to them.

We work closely with local colleges and have two apprentices that are part of the team.  Our ethos is very much around developing people with our own academy and a support and mentoring within the team to help people reach their potential.

Q: What excites you most about what we are doing at the moment?

The launch of our Savitrace product on the 24th January, after a sustained period of development and collaboration it is available to law enforcement, legal and financial professionals to combat fraud. We have some very exciting prospects to start working with and the opportunity to make a real impact on fraud, which as a whole over accounts for 40% of all crime.

Q: What is the most challenging part of your role?

As a product and services business the challenges change between the two parts on a regular basis.  Ensuring we get the balance right as we evolve and grow is key to our success and requires a lot of focus.  It is easy to get swept up in the excitement, my job is to keep my feet on the ground whilst reaching for the stars.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your role?

People, contacts, relationships and deals that work on all sides. Meeting new companies, getting to grips with new problems and helping solve them. Bringing new people into the team and seeing them grow. The close relationships we have built in the community schools and universities and the days we spend with them.

Q: What advice would you give to people who are where you were 10 years ago?

If you have a vision, follow it and never, ever, ever give up.

Look after your team, keep them at the centre of the mission. Everything the organisation achieves is through its people. Your purpose is to enable them to be successful. Two coaches out there make this point well, Simon Sinek and Don Miller, they present some great challenges to thinking and I very much agree with their ideals.

And be present, be visible, be approachable and surround yourself with people that share your values and are better at their jobs than you are.

Q: What do you do to relax?

A good subject and one I’ve made time for in the last year. There is always something that needs doing and it’s easy to confuse real need with something that’s become a pattern.

I love sport and would play something every day if I could. A perfect week would include tennis, cycling, running, sailing and climbing with my family and friends, and I’ve recently become a CrossFit fan.