Dufrain Behind the Idea
Behind the Idea Europe

Behind the Idea: Dufrain

In history, it has never been easier to generate and store data. But with more access to data than ever before, it can be difficult to extract the information that would best enhance their solutions or solve existing pain points.

To tackle this issue, UK-based Dufrain aims to enable brands to optimise their data and gain deeper insights to fuel the right business decisions. In today’s Behind the Idea, we speak to Joseph George, CEO at Dufrain, to learn more about the firm.

Tell us more about your company and its offering
Joseph George, CEO at Dufrain
Joseph George, CEO at Dufrain

We enable businesses to make the best use of their data so they can achieve their business goals. These goals include growth, better customer service and propositions, regulatory compliance, innovation through digital transformation, or even making the most of artificial intelligence.

We achieve this at Dufrain by offering best-in-class data management and data engineering capabilities delivered by our team of highly experienced data superstars.

Whatever a client’s ambitions, we will be their critical friend and trusted data partner to help them with their journey.

What problem was your company set up to solve?

Dufrain answers a couple of questions: How do you take all the customer data you have and transform those raw figures into innovative products? And how do you achieve all these goals while remaining compliant with regulations?

Making the most of this data is vital to building products and services that deliver satisfactory customer outcomes at speed and in line with regulatory requirements.

Since launch, how has your company evolved?

We launched a decade ago and have gradually built a team of nearly 200 ‘Dufrainians’. We evolved from a business that offered various BI technologies into a ‘data company’ with a defined focus on analytics, engineering, and management as our primary strength. Throughout our journey, we have challenged ourselves to add more value and to become a trusted data partner for medium to large organisations. Now, we have offices in Edinburgh, Manchester, and London and always looking to expand our reach.

Despite our growth, our philosophy has remained consistent – we want companies to transform data pigsties into profit-generating data piggybanks – but we continually evolve our methods to embrace disruption in technology, cloud engineering, and software engineering, while still keeping abreast of regulatory changes and best practices.

What has been the biggest challenge or most ‘tricky moment’ to overcome?

In my experience, the biggest challenge is underestimating the time it to takes to manage change and organisational behaviours, and taking people on the journey so that everyone is aligned; defining an ambition and a strategy is the easier part.

Sometimes it’s difficult to understand the impact of change on an organisation. Any sort of change is difficult for everyone involved, and Dufrain has certainly evolved over the past few years, sometimes at a very rapid pace.

This has been especially true for us in the past 12 months, during which time we welcomed a large intake of new hires and new roles. Bringing in new people can reset the dynamic, and it can take time to settle in, so it’s critical to bake any transition period into growth timelines.

What are your biggest achievements or proudest moments so far?

When I look back on my career, my most memorable achievements are always relative to the stage I had reached as a professional at that specific time. For example, when I was at university, I built one of the world’s cheapest lightweight two-seater hovercrafts – and yes, it did work on water!

Workwise, in the past year, I had the honour of leading Dufrain through a successful shareholder restructuring, securing PE backing from Phoenix Equity Partners to fuel our ambitious growth plans. As I said, it’s all relative to your stage in life.

How would you describe the culture of your company?

At its core, Dufrain is a people-centric business. We survive or thrive according to the quality of our team. You need a unified sense of purpose, you need a culture that welcomes and values difference, and you need to challenge your team and reward them appropriately when things go well. That’s the engine behind talent retention, and it’s what makes Dufrain work.

What’s in store for the future?

Our strong growth ambitions are well supported by a board who are aligned on the long-term vision, a senior team that is fully committed, and a skilled team of Dufrainians who are all enthusiastic and excited about helping with whatever they can do to influence the best outcome for all of us. I can’t wait to see where we can take our current plans while helping businesses of all sizes to utilise their data to grow better.

At the moment, we are looking to grow internationally whilst continuing to scale in the UK, and there are a number of plans in motion to open new offices across many major cities over the coming years. In essence, our mission is simple: we want to inspire, shape, and deliver the data capabilities of tomorrow.


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