Over the years, the dynamics of leadership have significantly changed along with the characteristics required by leaders to thrive. Alongside traditional management skills, a modern day leader must possess exceptional leadership qualities including motivation, empathy, visionary, strategic thinking, innovative, and others. With a similar view on leadership, Robert Bruski (CEO and co-founder of Ctrl V) states, “Business isn’t all about numbers and strategy. Business is built around, and focused on, people–everything else can be taught.”
Robert completed his graduation in economics from Wilfrid Laurier University and commenced his career in the finance industry. He started working in the banking sector and gradually progressed through sales and admin. His exceptional skills and knowledge landed him in the investment management sector and he started working at a hedge fund in Canada’s financial sector. Robert mastered fund accounting, risk and evaluation, client relationship management, and system architecture.
Utilizing his years of experience and knowledge, he decided to pursue his interest and co-founded a company in collaboration with his childhood friend. Initially, the company developed a piece of cinema technology for the Hollywood industry. However, the company changed its course of action to become a brand new initiative in the virtual reality arcade (LBE) industry and is now known as Ctrl V. With consistent effort and hard work, the company became successful beyond expectation. This motivated Robert to start franchising.
Expressing his views on commencement of franchising, Robert states, “Not only would franchising help grow a new and unique industry, but it would provide budding entrepreneurs around the world the opportunity to live out their dreams of business ownership”.
In a recent conversation with Mirror Review, Robert shared his views on leadership along with the associated roles and responsibilities, and the challenging journey of establishment of the company.
Following are the snippets from our fascinating conversation.
When was Ctrl V established? What are the exclusive services and solutions offered by the company?
Ctrl V was established in 2016 as North America’s first virtual reality arcade. Our facility is open to all where customers can visit, pay by the hour, and access the metaverse through virtual reality. We offer access to games including first-person zombie shooters, a variety of out-of-the-world experiences like swimming with whales and hanging out with gorillas, puzzles, and VR-based escape rooms.
What are your primary roles and responsibilities and how do you ensure efficient delegation of your responsibilities?
I believe every leader should possess 3 key roles and responsibilities. The first is envisioning the future and assessing the next move of the business. The second key factor is to build and support a corporate culture. The third is to grow stakeholder profitability as the main goal of the business is to make money. Successful implementation and execution of these strategies is possible only with the help of a solid team. A team that is selected based on compatibility instead of competency, allows me to efficiently delegate responsibilities and carry out operations smoothly.
How do you ensure motivation and productivity at the workplace? Also, how do you respond to criticism and disagreements?
I feel it is extremely essential to establish and maintain a healthy workplace culture and environment for the business to grow and function efficiently. We ensure to deploy motivation and productivity throughout the organization. Our workspace is designed to foster autonomy, mastery, and purpose which are the main factors that ultimately drive people to perform. These factors also help prevent unnecessary criticism and disagreements.
As a Franchise leader, what essential characteristics are required to survive in the modern industrial environment?
The necessary characteristics for franchise leaders to thrive throughout franchising and non-franchised business include empathy and compassion. Franchisees are business owners who have invested money to grow a business alongside a franchisor with the intent to achieve a larger vision. Therefore, every franchise leader should be able to relate to, support, and understand their colleagues regardless of whether they are franchisees or home office staff.
What are your views on franchisee-franchisor relationship?
A franchise relationship is not an ‘us-them’ relationship. It is a business partnership where every member plays an equal role in the success of the business. Even when each member is responsible for their own departments or tasks, they still come together as co-CEOs to build something remarkable. The key qualities required for such a relationship include transparency, respect, and collaboration.
In your opinion, how have the latest trends influenced the Franchise industry?
I have observed two very large trends that are currently followed by franchise industries. The first is of new and unique concepts beginning to franchise, and the second is increased focus on the softer side of franchising. Franchising is no longer filled with traditional businesses like quick service restaurants, etc. Instead of being completely focused on replicability, profit margins, and exponential growth, franchise industries are increasing focus on franchisee support, leadership, culture, and the humanity of business leading to greater and more developed business economics. Both these trends provide an opportunity for broader entrepreneurship, profitability, inclusion, and growth.
What are the ideal qualities you ensure while hiring a franchising candidate? How do you ensure to provide effective training and mentorship to the team?
Hiring an ideal franchisee is critical to the success of a system and must be a fit for the team and culture for the system to thrive. To ensure this, we have laid down a number of processes that every franchisee needs to go through during the selection procedure. The first step involves screenings through conversations, followed by interviews with our Franchise Advisory Council, a number of behavioral, performance, and aptitude tests, and meeting in person. The training and mentorship of every member of the team is mainly focused around these principles.
What upcoming services and solutions we can anticipate from Ctrl V?
Ctrl V focuses more on spending time researching and learning about the new trends in immersive technology be it virtual reality, augmented reality, or something completely different to keep you plugged-in. With recent mainstream announcements around the metaverse and blockchain supported environments, we are focusing on contributing to the ecosystem by deploying the technology.
Competitive Advantages provided to Franchisees:
- A business model with economics providing 80% gross profit margins
- Proprietary software that eliminates 75% of labor costs
- Customer-focused service system
- Hyper-focused support and coaching
Read Full Magazine: The 10 Remarkable Franchise leaders to watch in 2022