Aistė Naujokaitytė is a visionary. She sees the way forward in any situation, regardless of how bad it seems. In these times of Brexit and pandemic, that is precisely what is needed. She sees far into the future as well – no short-sighted, patch-up solutions, but a long-term plan with targets along the way.
Aistė was interviewed by Bill Mair of PrecisionPresentaion.com for PBLINK Stories, a series of blogs and accompanying podcasts that seeks to uncover the secret of business by talking to Britain’s diverse entrepreneurs.
Aistė arrived in the UK from Lithuania aged 12, when her parents relocated. She had little say in the matter at the time but now says she is grateful to her parents for the opportunities available to her now. She spoke no English when she arrived, but she caught up quickly. Her entrepreneurial journey began just three years later, when she did a stint of work experience for school at an estate agency. This ignited a fascination in her for the real estate business and she extended her work experience until she was 16 and old enough to sign on as an employee. She went on to graduate from John Moores University, qualified in real estate, and embarked on a jet-setting international career in the industry.
While this would be a dream come true for many people, Aistė eventually grew disillusioned. She was young, it was becoming too easy and she needed a new challenge. The decider was the high turnover of staff in the company she worked at. She felt strongly that it shouldn’t have to be that way. If people were looked after and valued, they would stick around and achieve their potential instead of moving on. This would work equally to the advantage of the company and the individual staff members.
When she talks of the corporate strategy for MIT Ventures, where she is Client Director now, her passion becomes apparent. MIT Ventures provides employee engagement solutions, including employee discounts from over 16,000 national supermarkets, retailers, restaurants, gyms and independent shops. Users save on average £2,000 a year on grocery shopping alone. There is also access to 24/7 unlimited online mental health counselling and full GP consultations services – very important at this time, when GP surgeries and the NHS are overwhelmed. All this is supplied at no cost to the client companies they have on board, via a portal branded with each client’s logo. The more MIT Ventures grows, so do the potential discounts and benefits to clients. At the moment they provide these services free of charge to the 157 client companies they have on board, meaning a total of over 100,000 employees are enjoying the benefits.
Advantages to the companies signing up include better staff morale, leading to massively reduced staff turnover, a matter close to Aistė’s heart.
The industry average for uptake and usage of such apps sits at around 30%. MIT Ventures boasts an impressive 90% daily usage rate: 90,000 people logging on every day to search for discounts and benefits. The secret behind their success? Knowledge. MIT Ventures delivers a free training program to their clients’ staff. Each employee learns every feature of the app and discovers every way in which it can benefit them. Thus, there is not only 100% awareness of the app but complete knowledge and appreciation of every aspect.
Such scale of user numbers equips the company to negotiate even better discounts and benefits, which keeps the usage percentages high.
Aistė talks about the multi-layered advantages of contented, engaged employees, Staff turnover is drastically reduced, while happy employees deliver a far better service to clients.
Window of Opportunity
While MIT Ventures does aim to introduce charges for employee engagement services in the future, Aistė divulges that for all customers on their books before charges are introduced, MIT will honour their contract going forward and the services will remain free.
This is the window of opportunity for businesses and companies looking to get on board. Sign up now for long-term savings.
MIT Ventures also offers a suite of back-office services, such as payroll, HR, pensions and more, all designed to allow businesses to break free of the minutiae and spread their wings.
Aistė has a long-term vision for the Lithuanian Chamber of Commerce in the UK (LCCUK), as well. She is keen to lead the Lithuanian business communities, from recent arrivals to 3rd/4th generations, to form much closer links, to release the potential of working as a national network of businesses spanning all sectors, sharing knowhow, swapping leads, referrals, etc.
As with any mission led by Aistė, this ends up bringing advantages to everyone involved. That is her style of leadership.
Aistė reveals what, for her, is the secret of business. She is convinced that if you care more about what you do in business than just the money it brings, you will flourish. Of course, the aim of business is to generate money but if that is the sole aim, the result will be soulless and empty and people will not respond. She translates a Lithuanian saying about the “burning eyes of passion,” which seems like a high point to finish on!
More PBLINK Stories
For more interviews with inspiring entrepreneurs, visit our Podcasts.