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Craig Buchan

Qpal
Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Qpal have developed an innovative and disruptive FinTech solution that will revolutionise the user experience at live events. We have the vision of becoming the leading global provider of cashless event solutions and bespoke data insights.

60-Second Interview

Who was your biggest hero when you were younger?
All I thought about growing up was football, football, football. So biggest heroes were David Beckham or Zinedine Zidane.
What is the best thing about being your own boss?
The ability to be super-productive regardless if it’s 6am or midnight. On the flipside, the ability to break away from work in the middle of the afternoon if you’re hitting a wall on a certain project and need time to recharge the brain.
Can you tell us about the first £10 you ever made?
Most likely from the paper round I had for 3 years. That fairly toughened me up being exposed to the elements come rain or shine at 6.30am.
What has been your biggest challenge so far with your business?
In the early stages being able to translate my idea/vision to people unfamiliar with technology or the live events industry. Over time my pitching ability has enhanced and now having the software developed it’s far easier for ‘technophobes’ to grasp once they’ve seen it.
Who is it that keeps you going through any tough times?
My inner-self is generally pretty good at self-motivation. Failing that the pursuit for divine intervention can take me a few places! What I call upon in tougher times is ‘why I’m doing what I’m doing’, and the rewards that will come our way when we’ve reached our goal.
What is the one thing you are most proud of?
Taking the leap, handing my notice in and giving 100% commitment to Qpal is a moment I reflect upon.
Favourite quote or mantra that you use?
Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find is easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing - Muhammed Ali

Although very 2012, ‘YOLO’ resonates well with me. A lot of my decision-making has a YOLO/risk taking element to it.
Where do you see your business in 5 years’ time?
Global and working with the biggest live events and sponsors in the industry.
We’ll also be diversifying into other markets by that point, you’ll have to sit tight to find out what we’ve got roadmapped!
If you could give your ‘teenage self’ one piece of advice, what would it be?
“Keep doing what you’re doing” – It’s worked out well for me so far, I wouldn’t change a thing. I partied hard through my latter teenage years, holidayed a lot, had an incredible experience at University and learned life lessons along the way which shaped me for being a business owner.
If you could have any one person on your business contact list, who would that person be and why?
Bernie Ecclestone – a mildly controversial character in business, and topical at the moment as Formula 1 have sold up.

What Bernie Ecclestone has achieved, and is still achieving, at his age is an inspiration so I’d love to know his business drive despite having it all. I’m sure he’d be able to open a few doors for Qpal, but more importantly I’d love to know his secrets to longevity in business.