Today’s podcast features a chat (recorded earlier this summer) with expert Chad Summe, who discussed his work as Chief Strategy Officer of Quotient Technologies. While Chad is based in his hometown of Cincinnati, Quotient’s headquarters is in Silicon Valley. We began our talk by delving into how that experience has been for him.
How about you kick things off by telling us a bit about your journey with Quotient thus far.
“Being with Quotient has just been a phenomenal opportunity for me personally … We opened the office here in 2012 as really an opportunity as a satellite office to serve clients like Proctor and Gamble and other big consumer product good companies in the Midwest,” Chad shared.
Since that time, Quotient has been scaled from a satellite to a full-service office (the largest global office over 300 people) and has made six acquisitions in the last four years.
Chad attributes much of this success to a few main factors, one of which is the alive and well entrepreneurial ecosystem that exists in Cincinnati, which he says has “surpassed all expectations.”
Also, a key factor? Human capital. According to Chad, everything revolves around answering the question: “Can we find the right talent to build, and to scale and achieve, the objectives that we desire and our growth objectives?”
Chad added, “Our company has been on a growth trajectory for the last several years. Growing from $8 to well north of $400 million in 2020. So to do that, it all starts around people and teams and a great culture. And we built that here.” That much is clear and undeniable, the proof being that Quotient was voted “Best Places To Work” a couple of years ago—a recognition Chad is particularly proud of. Something Chad is also proud of? That all of this success and forward motion into new frontiers is being achieved right in his old stomping grounds: “It’s just been a real joy to watch the growth here [that’s] happened in the Midwest and my home town. It’s just been a luxury to be here and be part of it.”
Speaking of your being in Cincinnati, tell us about what advantages you believe it gives Quotient by having that presence here and that market understanding?
Chad first pointed to better client service: “Like a lot of scaling companies on the coast, most of our clients and theirs are headquartered here in the Midwest. Just having the ability to serve our time, our clients, in a time zone that’s similar to theirs is helpful. So, it starts there.”
Next mentioned was the holistic value proposition of being in the region: “What we have found is there’s efficiencies to be gained; there’s quality of life factors, too.” One being no killer commute like those living in San Francisco often face when making their way to work in Mountain View.
According to Chad, another added advantage is getting to be the proverbial big fish in the smaller pond (versus the tech mech of Silicon Valley), as well as finding and hiring employees that just love what they do.
Speaking of hiring, if you had some advice for an entrepreneur looking to set up a tech company in a place like Cincinnati, and they were worried about hiring, what would you tell them?
“I would argue that the future is bright in the Midwest, and then I would double down that the future is extra bright here in the greater Cincinnati region,” Chad shared, before adding a confident prediction: “We’ll get the world of supply chain and the world of logistics and advanced manufacturing to come to this region.”
And after talking with him,I’m more excited than ever. Chad shared much more about the exciting entrepreneurial scene evolving in Cincinnati and offered even more helpful advice for us all. To hear the entire interview, head on over to our website and check out the full podcast on Apple podcasts, Spotify or Google podcasts.