Wondering who helps to develop our partnerships and bring awesome new integrations to Wakelet? We caught up with Teijas Krepanand Yesewin to find out more about his business development role
1. How did you become part of the business development team at Wakelet?
‘I was studying sports management at Manchester Metropolitan University when I started interning at Switch the Play, a social enterprise that supports former sportspeople. They were already partnered with Wakelet and using the platform to help athletes create professional portfolios. Through that, I found out more about Wakelet and its vision and I really identified with its values, mission, and ambition. I then started an internship at Wakelet, and I’ve been working here ever since!
‘My first role involved reaching out to influencers online and encouraging them to spread the word about Wakelet. Over time, that’s progressed to building relationships with larger organizations including my former uni, MMU, as well as Microsoft, Google, Apple, and more!’
2. What are the essential skills for a business development executive to have?
‘My role is all about developing relationships and so it’s vital to have strong communication skills. You also need to have a good understanding of your company’s aims and values, as well as the aims and values of the partners you’re approaching so that you can find alignment. Of course, with any start-up, organization, time management and planning are important skills to have too.’
3. How can business development support a start-up?
‘I think that business development is very important for a start-up that’s starting to scale. Aligning with larger organizations that share your company’s aims and values not only provides new opportunities but also demonstrates a level of trust. It’s assumed that companies that partner share the same outlook. And, of course, it can help to introduce your business to a whole new audience.’
4. What has been your most memorable moment at Wakelet?
‘I’ve had many memorable moments at Wakelet, but the one that stands out is presenting with Microsoft at ISTE19 in Philadelphia. I’m really proud of the relationship we’ve developed with Microsoft and the contacts I have there have become friends, but presenting on stage alongside them made everything we’ve achieved feel real.’
5. What challenges have you faced?
‘One of the most challenging things about working in a start-up is that there’s always so much that could be done. I used to try and do everything, all at the same time, but it’s only by learning to prioritize tasks that I’ve been able to really focus and get great results. At the same time, I always try to work on improving my communication skills and practicing patience.’
6. What does your day-to-day role entail?
‘My day typically starts with catching up on emails and tweets from the night before – we have partners in several different time zones. The rest of my day is quite varied. I might be following up with a partner and answering any questions they may have or researching a potential new partnership and contacting leads. There’s also an element of project management in my role, ensuring partnership integrations are successful by liaising with the development and marketing teams.’
7. What advice would you give to someone looking to become a business development executive?
‘Remember that learning never ends. You should never be the know-it-all; be the person who is keen to learn, always ask questions, and seek out knowledge whenever you can.’
8. How do you use Wakelet?
‘Personally, I use Wakelet for bookmarking. When I’m browsing online and come across a great fitness article or a motivational video I like, I’ll save it straight to my bookmarks so that I can have everything in one place and revisit things whenever I like.’