You founded ti&m 15 years ago and have led it successfully as CEO ever since. How do you look back on this time?
Thomas Wüst: Firstly, I am very proud of all our achievements over the past 15 years. We established ourselves as an innovation leader in Switzerland in a very short time. Now we have growing branches in three countries. We would never have achieved this without the support of all our employees ‒ they are ti&m’s biggest asset. We also showed the market that we could grow organically, without offshoring. Our success lies in our ability to innovate and to use interdisciplinary teams with an integrated approach. Last but not least, our high level of agility is crucial to our success. As an agile company, we create solutions for great business.
You have revised the ownership strategy for the next five years. Why was this necessary, and what are the key points of the ownership strategy?
As the majority shareholder, I want to position ti&m as a resilient company that is independent of individuals. I have a long-term perspective that I would like to communicate to our clients and employees. The core element of this strategy is that ti&m will remain independent. My family and long-standing, loyal employees will hold the majority of shares. Minority interests are possible, but they require my consent. The ownership strategy also defines measures for unforeseen and unwanted scenarios. If I am suddenly unable to perform my duties, appropriate measures will ensure that the company maintains its full legal capacity to act. I have also given myself the liberty to continue in my role in a meaningful capacity in the long term.
How long do you plan to be CEO?
I can’t tell you exactly when I will leave. I still very much enjoy shaping the business. ti&m’s next CEO will come from among the ranks of our employees. We will start familiarizing him or her with how to manage the company in good time. As always, the long-term perspective is crucial. The new CEO has to embody our company values and make sure that we continue to live by them. That’s the most crucial thing.
Which values are particularly important to you for the future of ti&m?
The courage to innovate and entrepreneurial thinking are at the top of my list. Plus, lots of passion for ti&m and its employees. The ti&m surfers have always been at the heart of all our business considerations. We try to create an environment where all employees feel comfortable, for example with our innovative liquid working model. In addition, talent is more important to me than hierarchy. Anyone can share their opinion. This is the only way to produce the best ideas and to remain agile as a company and in our attitudes. Finally, but every bit as important, there are our Swiss roots. They define the values that we live by. These values are the foundation for sustainable, responsible, and commercial success.
How will ti&m position itself in the market over the next five years?
We want to position ourselves as more of a premium brand. We have local teams in place to provide close support for our clients. This means we can guarantee the same time to market at our international locations as we already do in Switzerland. In the future, the ti&m channel suite and the ti&m security suite will play an increasingly important role for the company. Repeat business will give us the freedom to keep on innovating. This strategy means that ti&m will also become a product company. I’m particularly proud of ti&m e-banking, which we have redeveloped from top to bottom. It is setting new standards in Switzerland with its openness, modular structure, and multibanking capability. And with ti&m ID-Check, we also have the fastest onboarding solution in Switzerland. Other groundbreaking innovations include the ti&m WhatsApp for Business API, ti&m digidoc, and the ti&m conversational framework.