Q&A with Josh Valman CEO of RPD International

Last Updated: April 27, 2021

Hurry up, take more risks and keep trying.

    by AGENT Staff

Josh Valman is the CEO of  RPD International a company that develops and produces new products.RPD International work directly with senior management and R&D or Innovation teams, to solve problems, develop sustainable solutions and bring them to market.

11 Questions for CEO of RPD International Josh Valman

Josh has taken time out of his schedule to talk to AGENT about his business, goals and work life balance

1. Briefly tell us how you first got into business, and describe your business goals.

10-15 years ago if you were a big company, you would know exactly who your competitors were. The competition would launch a press release and then you would react by launching a press release. It wouldn’t matter if it took 5 years for you to get a product market, because you would have had good control of the market, customers, money and supply chain.

However, nowadays, it is a case of 2 or 3 people sat in a bedroom and in 6 months they’re shipping products in volumes,  this terrifies the corporates. Most of the time these large companies can’t even work out who is the threat, let alone develop products quick enough to compete.

Whilst RPD helps the small companies to compete, with global infrastructure, what’s really interesting is asking What if the world’s largest companies could launch their ideas, innovations and products within 6 months, every time?
If we accelerate the pace of global innovation, how far, and how fast, does the world start to move?


2. What age were you when you realised you wanted to run your own business?

I never consciously decided to run a business. The company grew out of a past life of consulting on engineering and supply chain whilst I was still at school. Nobody ever asked how old their supply chain consultant was, but when they found out I was still at school it very quickly came to an end. RPD was about formalising our alternative approach to corporate engineering processes, and bringing an ability to innovate to big companies.


3. Who are your business icons and inspirations?

Anybody that can keep a company running is doing a good job, it’s certainly not as easy as Instagram may make it seem.
For me, Elon Musk is an obvious icon. Anybody that can take a stance on what the world considers impossible, should be admired.

4. What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you surmount it?

Humans are always the biggest challenge. In anything, there is very rarely a true technical limit, usually it is a problem of people and process. We spend a huge amount of time on our teams, how to help inspire them, get the most from them and provide them with the best job in the world.

This also goes for our clients, we spend a huge amount of time understanding how their people interact and how we can help support this to succeed on both sides. We overcome this with some very simple solutions. We ask questions, listen to the answers. There are very few people in the world, that will ask why, or what you want, or your goals. Our biggest successes come from asking these questions and supporting somebody else dreams.

5. Work-Life balance: is it possible? How do you achieve it?

I’m getting better at it, as we grow. If you want to build a business you have to put the work in, nothing happens by luck.
I’ve learnt the hard way about burn out and exhaustion. Now we focus on efficiency and making sure I can spend time out on a bike.


6. What is the first thing you do every day?

My emails. It’s an unhealthy addiction.


7. What screen saver picture is currently on your phone?

A selection of things we’ve made.


8. What is the most important app on your mobile phone, and why?

Sadly, my emails.


9. What is the last thing you googled?

Flights, hotels, restaurants. Always.


10. What item do you never leave the house without, and why?

All the boring things – my phone never leaves my side.


11. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out in business?

Hurry up, take more risks and keep trying. I have never had a disaster from not trying hard enough. The funniest thing is the realisation that most people will take 5 minutes to listen, whoever they are – so try.

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