My name is Paul Galatis. I'm an entrepreneur and Galatis Group is the vehicle through which I explore various business endeavours - from starting new companies to consulting and sharing stories of my experiences to date. Design has played a pivotal role in my business life and I still enjoy and have the privilege of working with a small number of clients on specific design projects.
The Galatis Group name was born years ago in a moment of overzealous, youth-fuelled enthusiasm when I convinced myself that referring to me, myself and I in the plural was a good idea. But for now, I can assure you, it's still only me. Below is a little info on the ventures I'm currently engaged in.
In 2008 I joined Yuppiechef.com as a partner & director. It is an e-commerce business my two friends Andrew Smith and Shane Dryden started in 2006. Over the past eight years we have grown the business from a team of four to a team of around eighty-five employees today. In that time Yuppiechef.com has become South Africa's most highly awarded e-commerce store, having won Best eCommerce Site every year from 2010 - 2015 at the South African eCommerce Awards.
We've learnt many lessons along the way. Our journey of having taken an e-commerce idea from inception through to full scale operation makes our experience somewhat unique. In addition to immersing ourselves in the full gamut of the e-commerce landscape including design, development, marketing, customer service, social media and e-commerce operations, we've spent many hours exploring what is required to build and lead great teams - and it is great teams that we believe are the building blocks of all great businesses. We were also fortunate along the way to have raised funding from Tiger Global, a leading US venture capital firm. This helped fuel our growth and exposed us to an international network of leading tech companies, fundamentally altering our views on the potential of the web.
Today I'm a non-executive director at Yuppiechef.com. I spend a few days a month in the office catching up and working with individuals and teams, contributing where I can while doing my best to stay out the way of the great work being done. I can often be found telling the Yuppiechef story, be it in a lecture hall, a conference, a consulting session or to small group of interested people on a tour of our offices, where I share some of the more interesting learnings from our journey to date.
The Names & Faces Company
My latest venture is a business called The Names & Faces Company. We've created the world's simplest, fastest and most intuitive people directory. We're working with organisations that care about creating healthy, people-focussed work environments. We'd had enough of working in companies where after months there were still many people whose names we were't certain of; or arriving at business school and taking 12 weeks to get to know the people in our class.
What we've built is not a new communication tool and it is not another social network - the world knows we don't need another one of those. It is the fastest, most relevant people directory you've ever used that provides the simple yet significant information you need to engage with the people you see day to day, in real life.
We've worked with a small but growing number of clients to date. Some of the more recognisable ones include Ogilvy & Mather, Mediclinic, AMV BBDO, Hilton College, King James, the UCT Graduate School of Business, Old Mutual, wiGroup and Singita. Find out more about what we do.
South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world. This inequality poses a significant threat to all of us who enjoy South Africa today. In discussion with my peers, it has surprised me to discover how little we, as individuals and businesses, have proactively done to try address this challenge. As a response, my wife, a friend and I started an experimental project called Uplift Theory.
Using the Uber platform as our test-bed, we've borrowed money from our wealthier friends (for which they are being repaid at a reasonable rate) and established a for-profit social enterprise through which we help Uber drivers earn the vehicles they drive. Of the 60 countries in which Uber operates, South Africa is the territory where the smallest number of drivers (proportionally) own their vehicles.
We see the transfer of capital from wealthier individuals to less wealthy individuals as a critical lever for reducing inequality in South Africa but acknowledge the need for this transfer to happen in a way that feels fair, legitimate and sustainable. Our project hasn't all been plain sailing, but we're learning valuable lessons as we go. We're combining technology, capital and kindness in a way we haven't seen done before as we try to create opportunities for those who are determined and dedicated enough, to change their lives and the lives of those around them, forever.
If you'd like to get in touch to share ideas on any of the above, explore the possibility of working together, hear stories or compare battle wounds, feel free to drop me a line. I regularly spend anything from a handful of hours to a handful of days discussing interesting things with interesting people.