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Fireside chat with Douglas MacLennan, Co-Founder&CEO of VoucherCart

Who is Douglas MacLennan?

My early career involved working in management roles across varing fields of science from the Oil Industry to Mobile technology then sofware and telecoms. I worked with some great people and learned a great deal, but harboured a desire to create a business I could develop and run with more control of my destiny, so started my first company in 2001 in web development, hosting, domains, eCommerce and payments. I am currently CEO at VoucherCart.

What’s the story behind VoucherCart?

VoucherCart is a SaaS voucher technology company. We work with thousands of businesses globally across the Hospitality, Restaurant, Health and Wellness, Leisure and Retail sectors providing voucher and gift card technology.

In my 1st business (DMC Web) we’d built, hosted and maintained websites and web applications for a range of businesses in both private and public sectors. In 2013 we were commissioned to build a couple of voucher and gift card systems. First for a spa businesses and then for a hotel group shortly thereafter.

Building those systems from scratch took us fairly deep into the key functional requirements and specification of what makes a good voucher system. This provided the impetus to start the VoucherCart business and develop a cloud based voucher technology platform as we saw an opportunity to improve significantly upon the leading systems we’d seen in the market at that time during our research.

What was the most difficult part of your experience in the early beginnings?

Long hours and little pay. My co-founder and I both ran our own web development businesses while we got underway so were able to pull in developers from our respective teams to work on the platform in the early stages. As an entrepreneur and founder of a tech start-up you need to embrace the grind. There are simply never enough hours in the day, and when the office closes and your team have gone home, it’s up to you to deliver.

What are you most proud of regarding your business?

I’m proud of our platform, our team, and the results we achieve for our valued clients. From a bootstrapped start-up we’re now market leader in the voucher and gift card technology space with thousands of clients worldwide and the most feature-rich platform available today. The lean start-up, and agile methodologies we’ve employed since our inception have stood us in good stead and remain central to our ethos today.

What is your vision for the future of VoucherCart?

Our clients come first. Our software is focussed on our client’s needs and evolving as these change. We’ll continue to innovate, provide first class support in the use of our technology and bring greater value to our customers. 

What’s your advice for the businesses that are trying to adapt to this economic climate?

Every business is different and should adapt according to the uniqueness of their client needs, market and the operational and economic constraints they face, so it’s hard to provide a one-size-fits-all answer. If I were to offer any universally applicable advice it would be to scrutinise your costs and “help your customers”. They will remember you for that and remain loyal. 

Thanks to the type of software and services we provide and the need businesses have had to shift their priorities towards online transactions, the VoucherCart business has grown through the pandemic. We count ourselves lucky to have prospered in the prevailing period of economic uncertainty when so many other businesses including many of our customers have suffered. We’ve stood behind our customers and done our utmost to help them.

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

Atlassian, AWS, Slack, Google, Hotjar and some others. Oh..let’s not forget good the good old Internet:)

What books do you have on your nightstand?

Currently:

  • Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Thursday Murder Club  by Richard Osman

Because of the current economic climate our publication has started a series of discussions with professional individuals meant to engage our readers with relevant companies and their representatives in order to discuss their involvement, what challenges they have had in the past and what they are looking forward to in the future. This sequence aims to present a series of experiences, recent developments, changes and downsides in terms of their business areas, as well as their goals, values, career history, the high-impact success outcomes and achievements.

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