Milan Cooper, CEO. I was part of the founding team of the company with Chris Caigou and Bion Behdin when we kicked off in July 2018.
What time do you wake up?
6.30am – 7.00am depending on what needs to be done in the morning.
What’s the ideal way to start your day?
A good cooked breakfast to kick off the day is always nice!
What is your morning routine?
I’m not a coffee drinker, so that doesn’t form part of my morning routine!
How soon do you begin doing work-related things each morning?
Usually as soon as I wake up.
What’s your media consumption or interaction like?
Usually listen to Newstalk ZB on the way in to work to get across latest NZ news and politics. I read the NBR for Business news.
What would you do during a typical day?
I dip into all aspects of our business and help the teams overcome obstacles. I also spend a lot of time strategising the direction we’re going to take and dealing with key stakeholders in our business such as our Investors, Suppliers etc. A lot of my time is spent thinking about the team – how to create a great culture, how to reward employees and how to make this a great place to work.
Where do your best ideas come from?
A lot of my best ideas come when I have alone time (e.g. driving to work) and have time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
What does inspiration look like for you?
I’m inspired by people who push their limits and want to achieve something great for themselves or their communities. I’m massively inspired by other entrepreneurs who have built successful global businesses.
What has been the most transformational business practice you’ve implemented at your work?
Ruthless focus on exceeding your Customers’ needs. If you truly care about your customers, everything flows from that – they will remain loyal, they will become advocates in the market place for you and you will continue to grow your business.
What social or environmental issues inform the work you do, as well as what you’re aiming to do with your company’s overall vision?
We want to grow amazing leaders in our organisation. Giving people the opportunity to step up and grab leadership roles and advance their careers is super exciting to us. We can play a part in advancing people’s lives by allowing them to grow as professionals.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
When we have a good win – e.g. a new customer sign up from a competitive tender process.
What about the least enjoyable?
Nothing! I love working at First AML and constantly trying to improve.
Do you have any side hustles you’re juggling alongside being an entrepreneur?
What’s your best productivity hack?
Classifying to-dos into things that can be done in less than a few minutes, and things that will take longer. If something can be done in less than 2 minutes I like to knock it on the head immediately. Otherwise I will delay it to a to-do list and focus on a more pressing priority.
Do you measure your accomplishments?
Yes, crossing things off my to-do list.
Do you get stressed? If so, how do you manage it? Yes I get stressed, but I try to manage it with logic. I recognise that situations will be stressful but I try and take a step back and realise that certain things are out of my control, and all I can do is focus on things that I can control. This helps me immensely. I meditate a few times per week.
What is your evening routine?
I like house renovations so that takes up a lot of my leisure time and it is a good way to switch off work.
Any food and drinks that help you throughout the day?
Pretty typical diet – probably more junk food than I should!
What time do you go to sleep? How many hours sleep do you aim for?
11pm, and I try and get 8 hours sleep a night. I’m lucky that I’ve never had trouble sleeping!
About First AML
First AML is an AML technology provider, and the maker of Source, an all-in-one AML platform. Source powers thousands of compliance experts around the globe to reduce the time and cost burden of complex and international entity KYC. Its enterprise-wide, long term approach to the KYC / CDD data lifecycle addresses time and cost challenges while minimising compliance, reputational and security risks.