Under the Spotlight:

Richard Marchant


In this Under the Spotlight interview, we ask SGC Innovations founder Richard Marchant his thoughts on piracy, pastries and just what is in a name...

What makes SGC Innovations different from other software development solution companies?

The main thing is providing solutions for start-ups and scales-ups. We want to provide them with the products that will allow them to grow without constraint. As an example, one of our customers have a physical product on an e-commerce platform, and they want a fulfilment company to do the packaging and shipping; they don't want to be working 12 hour, 7 day weeks packaging and posting stuff. But they have indicated that they might be interested in linking it with other things like MailChimp, and a finance package so that they can automate that side of things allowing them to use their time promoting and controlling the day-to-day running of their business.

What is the most exciting project you've worked on?

Well the most exciting thing I will be working on is the ERP product.

Can you describe what an ERP is?

The short answer is Enterprise Resource Planning. It's an enterprise piece of software often for the slightly larger companies, but I feel that small companies should be able to make use of them too. If they want to grow and develop their business, they need to be looking at that enterprise-level software with an entry level budget. Originally ERPs and CRMs were separate things, but now they've evolved where CRMs are a small subset of the overall ERP. Theres a term called ERP2 which means everything from business intelligence, CRM, supplier management, stock management - basically everything under one roof. But there aren't really any products out there that do that very well... which is where SGC want to come in. We're going to be building our own ERP from scratch but in a very modular way. We'll have a releasable product that won't actually be an ERP product, but it will be a tiny subset of it using the back-end that will evolve into a fully fledged ERP.

Is that an Under the Spotlight exclusive?

At the moment, all I can tell you is that our initial focus is going to be on companies that have an e-commerce platform and want to automate the fulfilment process, and we will act as the bridge between the two.

What do you enjoy most about working at the Eagle Labs?

The atmosphere, the networking and the mentors available.

What does the SGC in SGC Innovations stand for?

Ah, well thats the funny thing! We went through loads of names; some of them we thought sounded good but after sleeping on it, they didn't! We even registered a company because we thought the name sounded good and after a week... Nah, let's just dissolve that company - let's start again! In the end we thought "we want it nice and short" and came up with some letters that sounded good and had a nice ring to it, but it doesn't actually mean anything! We've tried to come up with a few possible meanings, but we're just going to leave it for now... the suspense!

Who would win a fight between a ninja and a pirate?

This reminds of a previous job interview question "who would win a fight between a killer whale and a lion?"! I'd say a ninja because they're fast and stealthy. And pirates are likely to be drunk, so what chance have they got?!

You've recently moved to Cambridge, what is your favourite pub or eating establishment?

I haven't experienced many yet - I only moved on Monday! In the past I've been to the Avery (now the Grain & Hop Store), we used to go to Mickey Flynn's (now closed down), then followed by the Curry Queen on Mill Road - so that's my favourite curry place!

If you could speak to one kind of animal, which would it be and why?

It would depend whether they actually listened to me. If I could give one orders then it would have to be some predatory animal like a tiger or something. But if I wanted an intellectual conversation, then probably an elephant!

Parlez vous Français?



I guess you're going to want the answer in English? When I was 9, me and my family all moved to France - not really sure why! We went on holiday there a couple of times and the next minute we were living in Brittany. We were right in the countryside, and our nearest neighbour was about a mile away... they were also English! I lived there for about 11 years and then I decided that I could get a croissant in England! My parents followed me back shortly afterwards.

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