We thought it was about time we introduced ourselves properly. First up is Julian, our managing director. Along with Phill and Huia (who you’ll meet in future blogs), he’s one of the three founding partners of Electric Kiwi.
What’s your background?
“I grew up in Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty and went to Whakatane High School with Phill and Huia. I headed on to Otago University and completed a PhD in Information Science, which was partially completed in France. I've worked in software and marketing technology businesses in New Zealand, the US and Asia. Prior to starting up Electric Kiwi, I was in Asia for two years, managing a large-scale software development centre. Having a lot of technology expertise in our team backed our decision to do away with old-school systems and custom-build our own digital open-source power company from scratch.”
What made you decide to start up Electric Kiwi?
We saw a gap for a power company that could use technology to make electricity cheaper and simpler. We thought about everything that made being a power customer frustrating and tried to turn it on its head. So instead of waiting on hold in a call centre queue, we'd sort out customer queries with Live Chat and email. We made our pricing structure simple, and our bills easy to understand. We made switching a 2-minute job that you could do online. The other big one was no contracts, which keeps the pressure on us to make our customers happy.”
What makes Electric Kiwi different?
“We’re not a traditional power company. Being independent and all-online means our focus can be on innovation and using technology to provide customers lower power bills. Energy tech companies like Electric Kiwi are keeping the big power boys on their toes – and that’s a good thing, whether you’re a customer of ours or not.”
Random fact about yourself?
“In 2006, Phill and I took 6-months off working life to ride motorbikes from Cape Town to London. It was epic!"