By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO
I enjoy hearing uplifting local success stories in the news. Since receiving word that Creative Virtual is shortlisted for The Wharf Innovation in Business Awards, I’ve felt a little like my own ‘hometown kid does good’ story. An East End boy takes a chance starting his own London-based company, distributing a technology that was still very much in its infancy at the time. Fast forward twelve and a half years and that organisation, now a successful world-leading business developing its own industry-changing technology, is being recognised by an awards programme celebrating the hard work and ingenuity of companies in Canary Wharf, on the Isle of Dogs – the place where it all began for Creative Virtual. I’d like to think that I’ve made me mum and family proud!
Working on our award entry and then meeting with the judges last week really got me reminiscing about the Wharf. It took me back to the years when the docks were closed and the area was being transformed. What had become a very desolate area is now a bustling, global place to do business. It’s a financial centre, home to some of the world’s largest banks, and a thriving retail and dining destination. I don’t want to show my age too much, but I think it’s safe to say that the Canary Wharf we know today is very different from that of my childhood. You can see some of Canary Wharf’s transformation in this cool collection of photos of London’s Docklands through the years.
Canary Wharf also continues to be home to Creative Virtual’s headquarters. Growing an international company has taken me away from London a good bit over recent years, and I always enjoy visiting our offices, partners and customers in all corners of the world. However, coming back to the Canary Wharf office always feels like coming home – even if some of the team members there do jokingly re-introduce themselves to me when I walk through the door after a particularly long period of travel! And I like having Creative Virtual team members from other parts of the globe visit our headquarters and experience all that Canary Wharf and London’s East End has to offer. Those who follow me on Twitter (@chrisezekiel) will know that I regularly share photos from around the Wharf and the Isle of Dogs – a proud East End boy!
It’s honour to be shortlisted for The Wharf Innovation in Business Awards and to know that our company is continuing to employ local people who are helping us make our mark as a global leader in the exciting world of customer engagement. You can find more information about the awards programme and booking tickets for the awards evening on The Wharf website.