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 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're on a crusade to bring good people directories to the world. We create smartphone apps to help people in organisations get to know the names and faces of the people around them and get in touch. This is not a new communication tool. It is not another social network - the world knows we don't need another one of those. Just fast access to rich photos and relevant information about the people you engage with day to day, in real life, across the various groups and organisations you belong to. Find out more about what we do here.
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 address this challenge. As a response, my wife, a friend and I have begun a project called Uplift Theory.
We are a for-profit business aiming to make a positive social impact in South Africa. We're facilitating the legitimate and sustainable transfer of capital from wealthier individuals to less wealthy individuals by partnering with investors who support three fundamental views.
The first is that reducing income inequality in South Africa is an urgent and pressing issue. The social instability caused by our income inequality threatens everyone's future security and prosperity in South Africa, not just that of the poor. The second view is that this transfer can be effectively achieved by the wealthier among us intentionally investing a portion of our personal wealth into vehicles that grow at a slightly slower rate than normal, allowing the difference in growth rates to accrue to those at the bottom of the pyramid. And the third is the belief that it is a wonderful thing to use your wealth (while growing it) to help someone else significantly improve their life through providing an opportunity that can only be taken advantage of through hard work, diligence and perseverance.
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.