INSIGHTS: Experiences and advice from Business Leaders
Updated: Jan 12
Welcome to the next in our series of bite size chats with Business Leaders, brought to you by The FD Consultant.
We interview high achieving individuals who we believe everyone can learn from, and who bring insight into the many aspects of successfully growing a business.
Today we welcome Tanuvi Ethunandan, CEO of Data Duopoly. Having gained a solid understanding of business by qualifying as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young, Tanuvi followed her passion for entrepreneurship by co founding a tech business in 2018 which has grown impressively and has serious ambitions for the future.
Hi Tanuvi, please tell us about your business.
Data Duopoly is on a mission to revolutionise the visitor experience in any venue worldwide (we want to be “Waze” for people). Data Duopoly incentivises visitors to explore venues and we gather powerful data insights to shape a venues’ future.
We really want to help promote sustainable and equitable tourism. Our technology can work in indoor and outdoor venues, ranging from theme parks, museums, shopping centres and university campuses.
What are the key factors which have driven such impressive growth?
We have worked with some incredible partners, ranging from a pilot with the Eden Project, to currently working with the Tin Coast in partnership with the National Trust, and award-winning Falmouth University.
This has only been possible because of the fabulous Data Duopoly team, which is our most important asset.
Thanks to the hard work, dedication and creativity of our team we have become a Tech Nation Rising Stars Regional Winner, and have been backed by the European Space Agency for our innovative use of GPS data. We have been listed as CreaTech “100 ones to watch” as part of London Tech Week and as Phocuswright’s “Hot 25 Startups in 2022”.
Innovation is a key part of our success - we love thinking of how to innovate within venues to drive the best possible digital visitor experience to complement the physical one.
What makes you so passionate about what you do?
Ultimately, I love working towards making people’s days out better! I want to give people back time to spend with their loved ones when enjoying a day out, by removing the frustrations of queueing and bottlenecks.
In addition, I want to build a culture at Data Duopoly where people grow with us as a company. We want to support our teams’ ambitions, just as they work every day to achieve Data Duopoly’s vision.
What do you view as your greatest achievement in this role to date?
Building our team from just 2 to 7! It has been an incredible journey to date, and having team members who share our vision has made it all the better.
Personally, one of the greatest achievements was pitching as one of the top 3 startups internationally driving “recovery” in the tourism sector at the World Tourism Forum in Switzerland! That certainly was a humbling and surreal moment!
What are the biggest challenges your business faces?
As with many businesses the Covid pandemic has been a challenge to work with.
We launched Data Duopoly in October 2019, only a few months before the first lockdown. However, being resilient and agile to changes enabled us to secure our first paying clients and close our c.£250k seed round during the depths of the pandemic.
We want to use our technology to help the sector recover and provide valuable data insights to improve the visitor experience.
What one piece of advice would you give to those who want to achieve or sustain high growth in their businesses?
Building a business is hard work and like a rollercoaster (as Ronan Keating said!), so having a co-founder (or another person in senior leadership) by your side to celebrate the ‘highs’ and commiserate the ‘lows’ is invaluable. You always need to draw on the support of others, you can't do everything by yourself.