December 4, 2022

TECHNICALME

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The Startup Magazine Spotting Opportunities; The Startup Journey of Catherine Mandungu

4 min read


Founder of Catherine Mandungu Think RevOps, a company that started during the pandemic. He realized that the Revenue Operations market was growing, particularly within the technology industry, and so wanted to explore what was an untapped market between the UK and Europe. It’s often difficult to step into uncharted territory, but Catherine knew she could be a pioneer.

Revenue activities

RevOps, or “Revenue Operations,” is a B2B function that uses automation to help teams make the right decisions to grow their business. RevOps brings everyone together by ensuring collaboration from marketing, sales, service, customer service and finance, and unites all these elements with three shared goals.

These goals are:

  • Pricing for better conversions and margins
  • Reduce revenue theft
  • Using customer data to identify new revenue opportunities

The tech industry is worth $1tn in the UK alone, and this number will only grow as startups and scaleups grow. Therefore, RevOps is becoming a necessity, but the lack of talent within the sector is preventing growth. It was this emptiness that Catherine stepped into. Starting and scaling a business means challenges that need to be met, Catherine is open about tackling these.

Overcome the challenge

1) Finding clients

Of course, early on, with no marketing, no partnerships, Catherine did as much online events and networking as possible. Referrals from people and clients who knew his work and were able to recommend him to their networks became very important. While he still gets a lot of referrals from word-of-mouth channels, he’s working more on marketing and specifically leveraging partnerships.

2) Building a sustainable business

How did Catherine build a sustainable business, where she didn’t wait for the next project? “I didn’t want the uncertainty of being between projects. So, I created 3 engagement models. A service-as-a-model to ensure a revenue per month, transformative projects lasting 3 – 6 months for a fixed project fee and variable and ultimately short consulting and coaching engagements.”

3) Communicating via Zoom

Especially because of the pandemic, and doing everything on Zoom, Catherine had to learn to be as authentic as possible to express her work and her passion online. Before each pitch, he spent time understanding his clients and their needs, and made sure he could position himself in a way that worked for their organization. After that, it was all about being as animated and vocal as possible!

4) Avoid burnout

“When I first started, the business started to grow. I worked hard and long hours. Almost 24/7 and I was starting to burn out. Had to take a step back, regroup. I then started thinking about how I could replicate the work I had done for scale by creating templates and systems that worked for the industry I was catering to.”

Catherine’s background

As an entrepreneurial figure, Catherine is unique. She was born in Congo, DRC and then raised in the Netherlands by a single mother of four daughters. Coming from a working-class background, privilege did not influence Catherine, but rather personal ambition and a desire for a better life. He says his mother is his biggest drive and motivation. Once he decided to move to the UK to study, there was no stopping him and he has since worked for major companies such as Microsoft, Amazon and Adobe.

Working for a large corporation was not his long-term plan, as he always wanted his own business. Therefore, moving into the tech startup and scaleup space seemed natural.

With his footsteps as a guide

Strong female figures have impressed Catherine, and she hopes to do the same Inspirational women Take the leap and invest in yourself. Her goal is to empower women, and she’s doing that by training women who want to become great RevOps leaders or who want to move into that space.

Her native Congo has become a source of influence, Catherine’s mission is to support talented African women in technology and business. She wants to empower fellow women, no matter where they start. Currently, he is collaborating with organizations in Africa to provide more RevOps awareness to students and young professionals She is also working on a platform that will serve as an extension of Think RevOps to allow women in Africa to work alongside her company by providing support to organizations in the UK and globally.

“Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”

Although 2020 had a slow start, due to the world’s uncertain climate, business started to pick up towards the end of the year. Fast forward to the present day, Catherine managed to grow 241% YoY in 2021 and is projected to grow another 166% YoY in 2022. His business model is built around RevOps-as-a-Service (RO-aaS), which has allowed him to scale monthly recurring revenue of 30K+.

Catherine made just over half a million and estimated just over 800K in about 2.5 years. As a 1-woman operation, this is an amazing achievement. So, imagine what Catherine can do when she starts hiring to scale her business…



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