163: Creating an Operational Excellence Culture in a Tech Startup with Hassan Dantata


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In 2012, Hassan Dantata found himself alone in a hospital room. He’d just had a bone marrow transplant that required isolation for two months with a 50/50 chance of survival. With nothing but his “imagination and a dream” along with a burning desire for a smartphone, his resourcefulness led him to become an eBay vendor.

Eventually, he graduated from being an e-commerce vendor to starting a full-service digital solutions agency for the optical industry, Raven & Macaw, Ltd. His youth advocacy work has earned him coverage in GQ and British Vogue magazines and the World Economic Forum.

In this episode, Hassan describes how he came to carve a niche and the specific actions he’s taking to build a SaaS company rooted in operational excellence. You’ll also discover how he’s navigating the challenges of recruiting top tech talent. If you’re looking for inspiration to start or grow your business following a personal setback, then Hassan’s story of resilience, tenacity, and consistency may be just what the doctor ordered!

Special Guest: Hassan Dantata, Founder & CEO – Raven & Macaw, Ltd.

Location: Kano, NIGERIA

Air Date: Aug. 22, 2021



  • Raven & Macaw, Ltd.: Hassan’s company; dedicated to servicing the optical industry through full-service digital solutions including a software to manage back office operations.
  • Raven & Macaw Foundation: the philanthropic arm of Raven & Macaw “…created to provide free and easy access to eye health care especially in remote and rural areas in Africa.”
  • Hassan Dantata: the website featuring Hassan’s numerous accomplishments as well as his personal blog and photo gallery.
  • Coursera: a web-based platform offering free online courses to learn more about a variety of topics.
  • Udemy: a web-based platform offering a variety of online courses starting at $14.99.


  • Worksuite: a software that centralizes project information, tickets to track and resolve issues, billing, and attendance so that your team can share information and keep work organized.
  • Slack: a communication app ideal for remote teams that offers the ability to organize work updates by topic, private groups, and direct messaging.

Professional Organizations:

  • Global Shapers Community: an initiative of the World Economic Forum bringing together a network of young people driving dialogue, action and change. Hassan is the ambassador for the Kano location. Check out his profile here.

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  • Writer, Producer & Host: Alicia Butler Pierre
  • Podcast Editor: Olanrewaju Adeyemo
  • Video Editor: Gladys Jimenez
  • Transcription: Outsource Global
  • Sponsors: HubSpot, ThinkSmart Whiteboard


More About Guest, Hassan Dantata:
Hassan Dantata is a tech entrepreneur, speaker & eyewear connoisseur. His entrepreneurship journey began on a hospital bed with a laptop and a dream. In 2012, while in complete isolation and having a life-changing bone marrow transplant with a 50/50 chance of survival, Hassan decided to chase his dream and launch his first e-commerce store.

Fast forward to today, he is the Founder & CEO of a digital agency, Raven & Macaw, with a fast-growing team of 15 full-time employees. From Raven Optical Management Software (SaaS) to Digital Marketing & Web services, Raven & Macaw is a fully integrated digital solution exclusively for the Optical Industry.

Hassan was formally elected as a Manchester Youth Councillor (2016-18), Deputy Member of UK youth parliament (2017-18) and Member of the Greater Manchester Youth Combined Authority (2017-18) representing over 45,000 young people in Manchester on a local, regional and national level. During his tenure, he worked on various local and national campaigns such as Youth Homelessness (Partispace EU), Curriculum4Life, CommonUnity, RadEqual, Don’t Hate, Educate and Portrait Youth. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community; an initiative developed and led by young people who are exceptional in their potential, their achievements and their ability to drive global change.



More About Host, Alicia Butler Pierre:
Alicia Butler Pierre is the Founder & CEO of Equilibria, Inc. Her career in operations began over 20 years ago while working as an engineer in various chemical plants and oil refineries. She invented the Kasennu™ framework for business infrastructure and authored, Behind the Façade: How to Structure Company Operations for Sustainable Success.  It is the world’s first published book on business infrastructure for small businesses. Alicia hosts the weekly Business Infrastructure podcast with a global audience across 53 countries.



More About Sponsor, HubSpot:
HubSpot offers a full platform of marketing, sales, customer service, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software — plus the methodology, resources, and support — to help businesses. Their CRM platform is powered by the same database, so everyone in your organization — Marketing, Sales, Service & Operations — is working off the same system of record. This allows for a smoother handoff between teams and results in a more delightful experience for your customers.



More About Sponsor, ThinkSmart Whiteboard:
Thinksmart Whiteboard is a Windows App that turns your Tablet PC into a shared whiteboard. It allows you to create a whiteboard on your computer screen, then allows other people to write onto your whiteboard, even if they are in another location! Learn more.

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