Gaia Technologies

Origins

Anas Mawla and his brother Ayad graduated from Bangor University’s Electronics Dept where they studied Computer System engineering. Together with Katerina Patochea - herself a graduate of the Bangor University Marine Biology Dept, they started the business while still enrolled as students. They borrowed £800 from Katarina’s credit card and set off in business. They wanted to contribute to the area in which they live by employing and develop IT skills in north Wales. Several members of staff over the years have left to create their own IT business and are in turn, employing and developing the region’s IT skills. Their motivation from the beginning was to use their own skills and activity such that it levered in addition resources and interest in north Wales. Indeed, they recently added a London office as they were undertaking significant business in that area. Before opening the office, they were finding that some London clients could not imagine that a company from north Wales was more able to provide them with solutions than companies local to them!

Success Factor

There are three main success factors for the business. First, is focusing on a specific sector (in this case Education sector) where the business has a deep understanding of customer needs to deliver ICT Hardware, Software and support as a revenue based service. Secondly, strong technical solutions especially in infrastructure and the provision of diverse solutions like school clustering and linking communities to their schools. Finally, developing innovations in Visual Learning viewing and educational content utilising the 3D stereoscopic technology - Gaia is the World leader in the generation of 3D interactive images for the education sector.

The Future

The company will continue to develop its two main products in the education sector. The plan is to continue the rapid expansion of the business in the delivery of Managed Services to the Education sector in both Wales and England and the firm is forecasting organic growth to reach £24m in the next two years. Recent changes in England from the UK government to put added impetus behind the Academies programme- are all extremely positive developments for a company specialising in realistically costed and innovative IT infrastructure that are funded from revenue streams. Gaia’s experience in this field means that its services are in great demand and with relatively few competitors with the same degree of experience. The company is ideally positioned to serve the new emerging market, which includes over 3600 Academies. In Wales, Gaia’s extensive experience in schools across north and mid Wales (some 150 in all) and realistically budgeted, innovative and friendly Welsh approach – are all attractive elements that it hopes will be of service to the consortia arrangements that are now forming and the company is confident that it could save each local authority at least 10% of their ongoing IT support costs. Finally, Gaia company is a world class leader in its 3D development for educational contents to establish its product worldwide as leader in the field and its range of images is increasing every day from the combined activity of 6 full time software designers and developers. Within 5 years, it is anticipated that this division of the company will generate even more than the remainder of the company.