London-based payments company GoCardless aims to simplify direct debit for small businesses and large enterprises alike, but it’s more than simply a direct-debit venture to COO Erez Mathan, ’16 (EXP-21). “GoCardless allows businesses to get paid on time, improves their cash flow, and allows them to focus on their customers and offer additional services that they weren’t able to offer before,” said Mathan, who moved to London from his native Israel five years ago. “Hopefully, we will grow to a size that we can say that we have impacted many businesses across the world.” That ambition translates into a busy but rewarding workday.
6:20 a.m. Get ready to work out. I’m lazy by nature, but the team at GoCardless is extremely active, and they managed to influence me to start working out three times a week.
Mathan catches up with the headlines over a cup of matcha tea as part of his morning routine. Photograph from Shutterstock.
7:45 a.m. Prepare a cup of matcha tea and read articles I saved on the Pocket app. Our team shares interesting blogs and articles. This app really gives me the opportunity to fill in gaps in my day with useful reading, instead of turning to Facebook.
9 a.m. It takes around eight minutes to walk to the tube entrance, and I use the time to call my parents and my 90-year-old grandma. Living outside of Israel for five years now, I find this is the best way for me to still feel close to my family.
10 a.m. Meet with our extremely talented head of people, Jess. Our challenge now is retaining the older generation of GoCardless employees, enabling them to grow with the company and become better specialists while still keeping that entrepreneurial spirit, and Jess has been working hard with her team to create an employee retention plan tailored to people’s career ambitions and company needs.
11:30 a.m. Meet with our head of customer support, Daniel. He is scaling our support team, so he reviews the action plan his team is developing and the impressive results they’ve achieved so far.
1 p.m. Touch base with Dan, our head of risk and compliance, and our chief technology officer (and GoCardless’s first employee), Harry. We discuss product adjustments to accommodate regulatory requirements, and preparation for an upcoming audit.
3 p.m. Meet the office architects. Given the enormous costs a new office move requires, we’re discussing various options to increase the number of seats to 140, which should be sufficient for the next 18 months. This is the seventh plan they suggested, and I’m finally happy with it. It allows the team to feel comfortable and keeps the features everyone loves in the office.
5 p.m. Catch up with our head of legal, Ahmed, on opening an office in France, our second biggest market since launching our SEPA offering. I get a rush of adrenaline when I think about where we were two-and-a-half years ago and where we are today.
6 p.m. Head out for a drink and a bite to eat with some of the amazing people I work with. They are a major factor in why I enjoy coming to work every morning, and it’s great to catch up with them.
7:30 p.m. Read Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, by Tony Hsieh on the tube home. It’s a book I heard of in Professor [Nicholas] Epley’s course at Booth.
Mathan and his partner, Tanya, often cap off their day with a stroll through Hampstead Heath, near their home. Photograph from Shutterstock.
8 p.m. Meet my partner, Tanya, at home and head out for a walk together in our lovely neighborhood, Hampstead. Living in a city with more people than your native country makes you want to calm down after a long day’s work. Hampstead has a small-British-village feel, and if there’s still light outside, we take a walk in Hampstead Heath and look out at the city’s buildings from Parliament Hill. I may even remind Tanya for about the millionth time that when I was 12 and first visited London, I told my parents, “I want to live here when I grow up.” We’re so lucky to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
—As told to Eva Yusa