“Strive to grow, learn, take risks, and make a positive impact.” –CFO Laurence Capone
Back in the early 1990s, Laurence Capone was a Paris-based public accountant serving a distinguished list of oil and gas industry clients when she heard about an audit assignment unlike any that she had taken on before.
It turned out that a manufacturer of cotton fabrics had engaged Capone’s firm to help to audit the operations of its subsidiaries located in central Africa. As a team was being assembled for the client engagement, Capone did not hesitate to express her interest and shortly found herself departing for a monthlong stay on the continent.Read More
From the start, Capone knew better than to expect an indulgent environment. In fact, the region of central Africa—including Chad, where she would be based—was still experiencing waves of casualties from the AIDS epidemic.
“I was working with this local CFO, and even just getting together an accounting team was a challenge. Locally, 30% of the individuals had passed away due to AIDS or HIV,” recalls Capone, who says that early in her career she would frequently take on assignments that no one else wanted.
However, the audit assignment in central Africa stands out.
“The experience really marked me,” comments Capone, who adds that at this stage of her career she would also purposely pursue assignments involving different industries and different world cultures to broaden and test her business acumen.
The audit assignment in central Africa included both of these, as well as another realm from which to learn.
“You can imagine the social and human facets of the challenges that these companies were facing in the early ’90s,” remarks Capone, who credits the assignment with opening her eyes to the human side of the enterprise.
Says Capone: “It was the people and the people story behind everything that I was able to gather and learn from. The personal side and the life experience were very important.” –Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: Tell us about Pipedrive. What does it do, and what are its offerings today?
Capone: Pipedrive is an incredibly innovative 11-year-old company. It’s a SaaS technology subscription software solution that addresses small business needs in the CRM space. Think about deal management, lead management—these types of solutions for small businesses. In a sense, it’s enabling small businesses to grow and be successful by allowing them to gain in sales velocity and effectiveness. This is a huge part of our sales success, as well as the small business focus, obviously.Read More
The company was actually created and founded by salespeople originally, so we are really very well connected to the needs of small businesses in general. We’re now based in New York City but were originally founded in Estonia through the incredible technology expertise that exists in Estonia today. There have been 7 to 10 very unique and innovative companies that have come out of Estonia, and Pipedrive is one of them. We have this very powerful product that is easy to use, solves client needs, and thus has allowed us to grow to become as successful as we are today.
We have about 98,000 customers over 150-plus countries across the world, so we’re a global company as well. We have offices in New York City, Florida, and many places in Europe. In addition to Tallin, Estonia, we’re in Lisbon, London, and Prague, as well as Germany and Latvia, We’re definitely a Europe-centered company, but, again, we serve clients around the globe with the technology that is very, very sleek and really geared toward small businesses with its easy-to-use and intuitive functionalities.
Pipedrive | www.pipedrive.com | New York, NY