Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Michael Benadiba, CEO of OrderDynamics Corporation and President & CTO of MBC Managed IT Services. Despite his track record of business success, you’ll definitely wanted to read his compassionate definition of life success in today’s profile…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
As CEO of OrderDynamics Corporation and as President & CTO of MBC Managed IT Services I oversee all aspects of running and growing both businesses.
OrderDynamics is Canada’s leading Software-as-a-Service eCommerce Platform and Order Management System Provider for retailers and brands. Clients work with us because we enable them to take their businesses online rapidly through a customized digital experience that drives higher profits and solves challenges inherent within omni-channel retailing.
MBC Managed IT Services is a prominent Toronto-based IT outsourcing firm that services the financial, investment banking, and professional services industries. Clients work with us because of our obsession with providing a delightful service experience and purposeful solutions that are reliable and cost-effective.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I founded MBC Managed IT Services in 2000 because I loved helping others solve their technical problems and wanted to be able to reach a wider audience. I was always very passionate about solving problems in the simplest and most elegant way possible. I co-founded OrderDynamics in 2009 with three other brilliant entrepreneurs. We wanted to help retailers realize their online potential by developing intuitive software that solves real world challenges and removes barriers to success. I, personally, have been in the eCommerce industry since 2000 when the first eStores started popping up. I wrote my first e-store website proposal out of high school, and have been in love with digital commerce ever since. In the beginning, I was delivering commerce websites under the MBC banner by building custom websites. Custom software development for each client proved to be time consuming and costly, and so in 2009 we implemented our vision of a cloud-based commerce platform that could easily be sold and implemented to a larger base of clients.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Generally, I love working with our customers on solving their problems. This manifests in different ways.
For OrderDynamics, on a day-to-day basis I lead product management and set the direction of our product roadmap. Our product roadmap drives our future features and capabilities of the software and must be aligned with the needs of the market and our clients. Prioritizing the features on the roadmap can be very challenging, but working with our customers, the analyst community (Forrester, etc), and our staff to determine what features we should be building is extremely rewarding because the features we build often have a positive benefit to the operation of our clients’ businesses. In many cases it directly results in increased operational efficiency and higher profits.
For MBC, I am responsible for researching products, and then designing the solutions that will end up being used by our clients. Because technology changes so rapidly, and new software is released often, this requires constant research. It can be quite challenging keeping up with all the different products released by the software and hardware vendors, which we use in our solutions, but working with new technology is fun and interesting.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
At one point in my career I was checking my phone for no reason. It wasn’t vibrating or ringing, I was just checking to see if an email had somehow come in without an alert! Starting a business can make you very obsessive. This is very much a good thing, but once momentum builds I think it is important to take a bit of step back and trust others in your organization so you can bring some balance back into your life.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I see myself continuing in the software and technology industries, helping people solve their problems, through OrderDynamics and MBC or other new and equally exciting ventures.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Because my career started so early on in life (out of high school) I did not have much of a care-free high school and university experience. At one point I recall asking myself, “Who is Mike Benadiba?” not knowing where my business ended and I began. I had poured so much into my business that I had not put any time into developing my personal life. At 26 years old, after six years of professional growth, I took a step back and started focusing on myself. I rented a home in Los Angeles and for two college-like years met a lot of amazing people, learned how to skydive, and had a ton of fun. At the same time, OrderDynamics was expanding into the USA and so I also lead that expansion.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Success is the achievement of a set of personal, professional and family circumstances that cause you to wake up most mornings with a smile on your face. I have found that money does not make you happy, except when you give it away. I have also found that if you are already happy, then money can enhance that happiness.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
In May of 2013, my fellow co-founders and I sold OrderDynamics to eCommera, and are now working with a larger group of intelligent and like-minded entrepreneurs.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Step by Step, Ferociously. Steady progress towards seemingly impossible goals will win the day. Setbacks are temporary. Naysayers are best ignored.
– The Everything Store by Brad Stone
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
I absolutely love Terroni in Rosedale. For some reason their overzealous pretentiousness and ridiculous claims of ‘Kitchen-Grade’ Balsamic vinegar have me hooked. But seriously, the food is great and I do love the vibe.
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “me” time?
I love to spend most of my “me” time with my large family (parents, four older sisters and brother-in-laws, nine nieces and nephews), and girlfriend. I also spend time skydiving, travelling, and keeping physically/mentally healthy.
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
Without a doubt, the Islands of Hawaii. The deep blue ocean is magical, and being in the middle of the ocean calms me. The pace of life is also slowed down out there. Hawaii has some super cool natural attractions such as lava tubes, volcanoes, waterfalls, craters, incredible beaches, and lush arboretums. I am a frequent visitor to Hawaii, I just can’t get enough!
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
The opening sequence to Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry was a great visionary, not just of amazing futuristic technology, but an enlightened society that used that technology to better humankind by eliminating war, poverty, and hunger; a society that valued equality of race and gender, and chose to explore the unknown courageously.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
Running an organic fresh-pressed juice bar while offering free tech support for your computer or smartphone.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I support the Jewish National Fund, United Jewish Appeal and some local kids’ sports teams in Richmond Hill. It is important for me to give back to the community.
What to you is notable?
Being a kind and respectful person.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Three phones; old-school BlackBerry Bold and iPhone for daytime use, and an Iridium 9505A for when I’m off the beaten path.
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)
Top photo by Phil Birnbaum.