boss it like

How To Boss It Like… Anil Stocker, CEO of MarketInvoice

By Oliver Smith 28 July 2016
Anil Stocker, CEO of MarketInvoice.
Summary

These leaders are changing our world for the better. We find out how they get the job done.

There are a handful of business leaders and industry figures in Britain who are changing the world. From Lord Jim Knight to Jeremy Waite and Jeff Lynn, these smart people seem to get an incredible amount done, in an impossibly short space of time.

This morning we’re talking to Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder of MarketInvoice, who is undoubtedly a productivity guru.

A former Lehman Brothers analyst working on private equity Stocker spotted the opportunity in unlocking the value trapped within the unpaid invoices of small businesses.

In 2011 he started MarketInvoice with his co-founder Ilya Kondrashov with the idea of creating a marketplace for companies to sell their outstanding invoices from their customers to investors, who could make a return on their investment once the invoice is paid.

Today MarketInvoice has helped British businesses unlock well over £850m, which they can use to invest back into their work, by using this marketplace.

A busy man, with big ideas, The Memo asked Stocker how he gets it all done.

What time do you get up, and what part of your morning routine sets you up for the day?

I’m up usually between 6.30am and 7am. I tend to listen to music first thing as I find it helps me wake up. I’m also experimenting with doing more exercise before I head to work – mainly yoga, running and HIIT (using the app Freeletics) – but that’s still a work in progress as I’m still not a huge morning person.

I aim to be in the office by 8.30am so I’ll catch up on emails en route.

What apps do you use to be more productive?

I’m a big user of Evernote when I’m taking notes in meetings or visiting customers and getting feedback on their experiences.

I track the progress of my direct reporting team in Google Docs and share action points and key agenda items. We’re all big users of Slack at MarketInvoice, adoption rocketed once we grew to around 50 people and it’s super effective for sharing information across the business.

Slack can be distracting though so I try to switch it off for periods during the day to focus better on tasks in hand, and then catch up later.

One key thing I’ve implemented recently is to divide my weekly calendar up into chunks of focus (e.g. On Tuesday afternoons I’ll do all interviewing for the week, on Thursday afternoons I work with Ilya my co-founder on marketing strategy).

I find being disciplined like this helps me to get more done and helps me avoid too much context-switching, but as with all best-laid plans it doesn’t always work out that way!

What smartphone do you have?

A Space Grey 64GB iPhone 6. My favourite apps are Shazam, Twitter and Uber.

How many people, outside of family, do you meet in a day?

Depending on my focus each day I’ll see anywhere between 5 and 15 people. There are some days which are nearly all back-to-back meetings but I’m becoming stricter with my time, so recently there haven’t been too many of those days.

We’re in the midst of a big recruitment push, so Ilya and myself make a conscious effort to meet every candidate.

I also really enjoy meeting the people running the businesses that that use MarketInvoice for funding. It gives me a huge buzz to see their offices, hear their growth plans, and see how we are helping. It’s also the best way to get feedback on the product.

 

What book have you read, either recently or in the past, that has inspired you?

I’ve always loved reading and reach to fiction to help me relax. In terms of work however, the book I read most recently was The Weekly Coaching Conversation by Brian Souza. It’s written as a fable and presents the value of helping your team to succeed by becoming a better coach.

Another one that I always recommend is Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. The book focuses on being an engaging speaker, and making your vision, idea or concept resonate with people.

When do you work until? Are you still sending emails in the night? Or do you have a wind down routine?

I’m much more of a night owl and do tend to work and send emails late into the night.

Once I’ve mastered exercising in the mornings I plan to get better at switching off emails and unwinding!

On Friday afternoons we have a company-wide meeting, and afterwards the team grab some beers and sit out on our new roof terrace – that’s a great time for me to catch up with everyone and wind down for a couple of hours.

Come back next Thursday for our next #BossItLike interview, and get in touch if you know a leader who’s also a productivity guru for us to talk to.