Q&A with Logan Naidu, CEO of Dartmouth Partners
Dartmouth Partners founder Logan Naidu talks about his recruitment agency business and why he is focusing on putting elite early stage talent into companies.
Dartmouth Partners, an award winning, London and Frankfurt based recruitment consultancy, was founded in July 2012 by Logan Naidu.
Not a typical recruitment business, Dartmouth Partners differentiates itself from competitors by focusing on the best graduate and early stage talent around, and placing them with the right companies.
“I’m passionate about finding rising stars”
“I genuinely feel passionate about finding rising stars and future leaders,” says founder Logan Naidu. “We believe that early stage hiring is an ignored space.”
Having previously been a co-founder of another recruitment agency, Logan became frustrated at the companies strategy plan and being unable to make changes so with a view to starting with a clean slate he set up Dartmouth Partners.
He used his previous experiences to set up an agency that sought to put elite early stage talent into firms who understand that hiring the best talent available delivers a competitive edge.
11 Questions for Dartmouth Partners founder Logan Naidu
Logan Naidu took time out of his busy schedule to answer AGENT’s questions about his recruitment company. He spoke about the beginnings of Dartmouth Partners, his role models & inspirations, his achievements & challenges and, for the benefit of young entrepreneurs preparing to start up in business today, shared some of the key lessons he has learned during his early years in business.
1. Briefly tell us how you first got into business, and describe your business goals.
In short, a corporate financier turned recruiter. I have some experience across financial services, having worked at JP Morgan and PWC, before moving into the recruitment sector and subsequently going on to found Dartmouth Partners.
I was previously a founding Partner in another recruitment company and whilst it was economically successful I felt that we lacked a clear strategy or plan and consequently the business lacked a “heart”. Frustrated, unable to make changes and keen to learn from the failings, I felt it was best to take the best bits whilst addressing what we saw as core issues – starting with a blank canvass, I founded Dartmouth Partners in July 2012.
We have established ourselves as a distinct firm, dedicated, but not limited to, the best graduate and early stage talent around, and genuinely feel passionate about find rising stars and future leaders- largely those people in the first 12 years’ of their career. We believe that early stage hiring is an ignored space.
I hope our existing team stays together and we continue to help companies find their future leaders of tomorrow, today. We’ll roll out our model into new industry practices and potentially new geographies. We’ll hopefully execute the Classroom to Boardroom model successfully.
Our 4 year plan takes us to the Tokyo Olympics and at that point I’d hope we have further international offices, a brand that has fans not customers and that we retain a clear purpose and strategy.
2. What age were you when you realised you wanted to run your own business?
I think probably around age 22. My options were starting to narrow!
3. Who are your business icons and inspirations?
There are quite a number of people I admire in businesses similar to ours- Roland Rudd is one. Advisers to advisers. But there’s a range from Jack Ma, Martin Sorrell, Luke Johnson and obviously people like Branson. There are so many great entrepreneurs out there to emulate.
4. What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you surmount it?
Second time around was much easier. There were some infrastructure issues – we arrived in our office without carpet or light fittings – but we had chairs and the IT had been plugged in so we could at least send emails! As much as initial chaos and disaster stories make for great reading, apart from our bare-bones office, we really did hit the ground running.
As we’ve grown maintaining a start up ethos and culture whilst professionalising our infrastructure has been the main challenge. Moving from Start-up to Scale-up is the hardest part!
5. Work-Life balance: is it possible? How do you achieve it?
Not really. The job can be all consuming. Even when you’re at home, you’re thinking about the business.
6. What is the first thing you do every day?
7. What screen saver picture is currently on your phone?
My 3 kids on holiday in France last year
8. What is the most important app on your mobile phone, and why?
Emails and LinkedIn. And my Bible app which I try to read every day.
9. What is the last thing you googled?
The address to a client I was running late for.
10. What item do you never leave the house without, and why?
My wallet- I always feel I need something on me in case of emergency
11. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out in business?
Take the long term view on your career, try to enjoy it and play to your strengths whilst acknowledging and working on your weaknesses. Get a good team around you as soon as possible. You’re only the on the first step of what could be a long and winding road.