E51 - Fergus Innes at Crosslake Fibre05 July, 2023
For our 51st episode, Fergus Innes joined our Director James Dean, the CCO at Crosslake Fibre. James and Fergus speak about all things Fibre and how Fergus started in the Fibre space. They also discuss some of the biggest changes Fergus is seeing in the industry currently and how they are tackling that over at Crosslake Fibre.
From a young age, Fergus’ father ran a clothing manufacturer, which is where he worked during the school holidays. His dad noticed that he didn’t like the grind of working in a factory, so he decided one day to fill a car with the clothes he sold in his factory and told him to go out and sell them. He figured he liked the independence of driving conversations and getting outcomes from them which drove him into enjoying business studies at school.
This led him into taking Business and Information studies at university which put him on the path of technology. After finishing university, he went to London to work for a company that focussed on the phone business, leading to his next venture at Mercury Communications, which became cable & wireless. He went to cable & wireless college where he learned his craft, and that is essentially what got him in Telecoms.
Crosslake is a smaller business and driven by relationships. They have created a great position in the market as they started as investors and infrastructure builders of unique assets. They are striving to deliver new infrastructure and fibre and are the next generation of infrastructure for the internet.
One of the biggest challenges they are facing currently is time. They are a small company and there are a lot of opportunities out there in terms of projects. They want to develop and build and it’s just ensuring they do the correct due diligence behind that type of activity to make sure they’re focused on the correct things. They are also making sure they keep their eye on the prize in terms of continuing to scale.
The right calibre of person is important when it comes to hiring at Crosslake. The majority of staff were already known from the industry. This makes it easier in terms of knowing their track record and it enables them to see first-hand what they’ve delivered in the past. Another thing Fergus regards important is making sure individuals get together as a team and that they can not only work individually but also add their own expertise and develop into a team. It is important that everyone is different because it strives for different conversations.
Crosslake Fibre was about delivering something that was new to the market. The way they drove the business forward was by the trusting of people and building relationships that executives in the business had made over time. With that being said, Fergus believes that everyone should know, it is all to do with relationships, trust and delivering upon the promises that you give to people. You cannot ever sit back and think you know everything, there are always new things to learn and new people to talk to.
Fergus shares some advice that he would give to his 16-year-old self and touches upon finding the things you enjoy doing and leaning into and chasing after what you love. Make sure you tune in to listen to the full episode.