Aris Karidis is the CTO of Vendigo Finance, a London based fintech that has transformed the way consumers apply for finance for home improvements.
Aris read Physics at the University of Patras, received a masters degree in Radio Astronomy from the University of Manchester and another in Computer Science from the University of Kent. He has spent 15+ years working for several successful start-ups and scale-ups, as well as larger organisations, across several industries.
He started his career as a developer but quickly moved into leadership roles. He is commercially driven whilst remaining very technical, describing himself as an API that translates business to technology and vice versa.
What’s the story of your career so far?
I actually studied Physics in Greece, then came to the UK to do an MSc In Radio Astronomy, starting a PhD in Astrophysics after that, so I was following a research & academic career. Soon after starting my PhD though, I decided to switch paths and move into Computer Science & IT, studying for another masters degree.
After graduating, I started my career as a backend developer, quickly moving into web development since I thought this was the future. I eventually moved into leadership roles that combined both technical & non-technical skills, spending the last decade in CTO roles, working mostly for startups & scaleups but also for larger organisations.
What do you love most about what you do?
Everything! I don’t see my job as work, it is something that I love doing, essentially a hobby that also pays the bills.
Simplifying systems, finding unique solutions to unique problems and creating great working environments for people, are things that I love doing, so these are certainly on the list.
But if I had to choose just one, I would have to say that taking a concept and delivering it as a fully working, scalable system, gives me the greatest pleasure of all – it’s like raising a child.
What’s the most important lesson you learned in 2020 amidst all the Covid-19 disruption?
I was amazed by how many companies out there were not prepared to switch to a remote only setup and by how many were still using non-cloud infrastructures. What was more shocking, was that many of these companies were promoting themselves as innovative, modern and cutting edge, although in reality there were just dinosaurs in the 21st century.
Many of them were also stuck on the on-premise concept, when it came to the people and not just to the tech, which is another nonsensical approach in my view.
As far as you can predict, what’s on the cards this year for you and your business?
In one word, growth! Vendigo has an awesome platform that literally no one else in the industry has, combined with a great group of people, so we have a huge opportunity to grow and further expand into the point-of-sale finance market. We are already dominating several verticals but we intend to do so on many more in the coming months.
We also have plans to become a lender and expand internationally.
If you could go back and do it all over again, would you choose a different career path and why?
Switching career paths was one of the best decisions I ever made, so I certainly wouldn’t change that. I love what I do and I cannot imagine myself doing something different.