Why These Two Companies Expect Rapid Growth in 2023

Despite economic uncertainty on the horizon, these Chicago companies plan to be agile and innovative to respond to industry changes.

Written by Avery Komlofske
Published on Nov. 28, 2022
Why These Two Companies Expect Rapid Growth in 2023
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The state of the economy in 2023 is uncertain. The International Monetary Fund predicts that next year, global growth will slow to 2.7 percent, from 3.2 percent in 2022 and 6 percent in 2021.

The tech sector, though, has a more optimistic forecast.

CompTIA’s November industry outlook report estimates that global IT spending will reach $4.6 trillion in 2023, a 5.1 percent jump from 2022. In the same report, it was found that technology firms across the globe rated their future prospects positively, even in the face of global uncertainty. 

Technology plays a key role in nearly every industry; companies that are innovative, agile and alert to change still have strong growth potential in the coming year.

Built In Chicago sat down with two local tech companies that are preparing for rapid growth in 2023. Crafty and Inspire11 are seizing the uncertain future by doubling down on their mission and values and expanding their offerings and market reach in response to an ever-changing world.

 

Crafty's employees posing for a photo.
Source: Craft

 

Ishan Daya
Co-Founder and Co-CEO • Crafty

 

Crafty manages food, beverages and supplies for workplaces across the globe, with the goal of using food to create better workplaces and strengthen employee relationships. In 2023, it is planning to expand its offerings beyond the kitchen and into catering and company events.

 

What do your hiring plans look like in 2023?

Since we started in December of 2015, Crafty has always been focused on scaling with people in a sustainable way — making sure we don’t go through the headcount ebbs and flows that you would traditionally see in high-growth organizations. We accomplish this due to our emphasis as an organization on growing not just our team, but our people. Heading into 2022, Crafty raised a $10 million Series A, which has allowed us to scale our platform across the globe, invest in expanding each of our teams and hire leaders to steer us into the next phase of the business. As we move into 2023, we’re excited to double down on those efforts. 

We have plans to invest more heavily across four primary areas, with a deliberate focus on Chicago: Growing our technology team by at least 25 people across product, engineering and data analytics; scaling our sales and marketing teams with at least 20 new hires; augmenting our client experience teams with at least 20 new hires; and investing in at least seven new hires in talent development and acquisition to enable us to be the very best workplace for individuals that are excited to build and feel ownership and agency over their work.

 

What steps are you taking to make sure this period of rapid growth goes smoothly from an employee experience perspective?

This has been one of the most fun challenges to tackle over the last year. In 2022, we saw more than three times revenue growth, doubled the team and scaled to every major U.S. market — as well as some global hubs. We have been making sure we were bringing in individuals that are excited about building the next phase of this business and comfortable being nimble.

Because of this intense focus on how we bring team members in, we’ve been able to maintain a 98 percent voluntary retention, and an employee net promoter score (eNPS) of at least 60. This team is and always has been incredibly focused on authenticity. We firmly believe that creating a workplace that values the individual, psychological safety, continuous learning, growth and candid feedback — a holistic-care centered workplace — is the recipe for a successful organization. 

As we approach 2023, we’re hyper-focused on decentralizing decision-making and giving further ownership and agency to those that are closest to the impact.

 

As we approach 2023, we’re hyper-focused on decentralizing decision-making and giving further ownership and agency to those that are closest to the impact. This looks like a deeper investment in performance management, as well as creating growth trajectories for folks across all roles. That hinges upon having goals, priorities and values aligned under a unified vision.

 

What is the most interesting challenge facing Crafty at the moment, and how are you working to overcome it?

Crafty is at the confluence of the changing workplace dynamics. Over 2022, we helped hundreds of clients rethink how they approached their in-office and employee engagement models to best suit their needs. As we move into 2023, we’re seeing a shift from companies  hypothesizing about the optimal structures to now having data on what they truly need to create their best working dynamics. 

Our greatest challenge is also our greatest opportunity in the market: Evolving our tech and service to guide and implement food and beverage programs for orgs that vary across the spectrum of workplaces. We’re looking beyond just kitchen and pantry services — to catering, to ad-hoc in-office and remote events, to the on-site hospitality needed to enable those experiences. We have a belief that work should not and cannot be transactional. Whether an organization is remote, hybrid or fully in-office, companies need to be able to create meaningful engagement in ways that allow for relationship building and connection. Over 2023, we’re focused on enabling our clients to build those experiences through Crafty — experiences that create moments of engagement for their teams across an increasingly global footprint.

 

 

Hans Nelson
Founder and President • Inspire11

 

Inspire11’s consultants focus on disrupting business norms and using data and digital technology to discover what really works for the clients they serve. Next year, the company plans to expand both its market reach and its talent development programming. 

 

What do your hiring plans look like in 2023? 

We are uniquely positioned to help organizations thrive and take advantage of uncertainty. With that in mind, we will continue to grow across our service line offerings in this coming year, with a particular focus on our engineering and data science practices. We will add 100 team members here in the United States and continue scaling our exclusive partner talent network in the Balkans.

 

What steps are you taking to make sure this period of rapid growth goes smoothly from an employee experience perspective?

This year, we’ve strengthened our platform for the growth of our business and people with strategic investments in two new markets and by building a bespoke talent development structure. In 2023, we will build upon this platform. We will continue to challenge traditional career development models to give employees the level of design and guidance they need while creating unique opportunities for every employee to grow authentically. We also look forward to expanding further into the United States with additional markets opening in 2023.

We will continue to challenge traditional career development models to give employees guidance they need while creating unique opportunities for them to grow authentically.”

 

What’s a project you’re really excited to tackle this year, and what impact will this project have on Inspire11?

It’s our mission to create new dimensions of value that radically improve people’s lives. We have a strategic project underway to make our first acquisition in the home health industry. This acquisition creates an opportunity for us to pair our industry expertise with our game-changing talent in human-centered innovation, engineering and analytics to provide access to exceptional care and recovery for all.

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images via listed companies and Shutterstock.

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