The COVID-19 outbreak isn’t the only thing that’s wreaking havoc on the global economy. Instead, it was the catalyst that caused the poor leadership and decision-making globally to take a toll on the economy. Also, people’s reactions to the illness influenced the economy. And as time passes, people all across the world are becoming increasingly aware of this.
Robert M. Bruski, CEO & Co-founder of Ctrl V, believes that it was the leadership and not the virus that caused this economic mess. And, that is part of the problem and needs to be halted. Without that realization, no one will take accountability, and getting past what has happened will be much more difficult than people think. He states, “With that being said, as an entrepreneur, the best way to sustain and overcome a hurdle like what we’ve been through (and any hurdle for that matter) is to make sure that your mind is clear, informed, and positive. This set of underlying principles it allows businesses to restructure, pivot, and adapt in a way that takes the worst things around you and use them to your advantage. Educated perseverance and persistence can overcome more things than most people tend to believe.”
A Multi-Faceted Leader With Extensive Experience
Robert isn’t your typical entrepreneur. After graduating with a degree in economics from Wilfrid Laurier University, he began his career in the finance industry. This dynamic leader started with banking, progressing through sales and administration, and eventually landing in buy-side investment management, working at a hedge fund in Canada’s financial sector – Bay St. Then, he decided to pursue entrepreneurship full-time after nearly a decade in investment management and learning the difference between a good business and a great business (rather than what had been a side-hustle his entire life). With his childhood friend, Robert co-founded a company who had invented a piece of cinema technology for the Hollywood industry.
“This company pivoted and changed course, eventually becoming a brand new initiative in the VR arcade (LBE) industry called Ctrl V. The business became successful beyond what was expected, at which point, the decision to the franchise was quite obvious,” says Robert. Not only would franchising help grow a new and unique industry, but it would also allow emerging entrepreneurs worldwide to realize their aspirations of owning a business. “The role of a CEO within Ctrl V or any other company is three-fold. The first is to build and maintain the company culture. The second is to look to the future and act on the vision. And the third is to build shareholder wealth. These things guide my leadership style, with a flavor of compassion and empathy,” states Robert.
Our franchise partners and our staff are the most valuable assets we have.
Ctrl V, North America’s first virtual reality arcade, was established in 2016. It’s a physical location where customers can come in, pay by the hour, and use virtual reality to access the metaverse. The virtual reality arcade provides games like first-person zombie shooters, experiences like swimming with whales and hanging out with gorillas, puzzles, and even elaborate VR-based escape rooms. There is something for everyone, regardless of age or ability level, to enjoy on their alone or with friends in a multiplayer scenario.
The following 12-18 months will be exciting for Ctrl V. With an increasing number of people wanting to establish their own business or go into business for themselves; franchising has become a highly appealing alternative. “Especially now, after the various changes to the economy on a global scale, Ctrl V has had to grow in a direction that helps, even further, foster franchisee success and profitability. A deeper focus on our franchisees than you’d see in many other franchise systems, has become the cornerstone to sustainable growth and happy business owners,” Robert proudly asserts.
The Reason Behind Ctrl V’s Success: Team
Ctrl V’s team (whether it’s the support centre employees or the franchise partners) is the most crucial factor in its success and growth. Sharing his view on culture, Robert states, “We work together and treat each other as business partners working towards a common goal. How this is accomplished is part of the secret sauce that makes Ctrl V a fantastic team to be a part of. That being said, motivation during current times can be summed up in three simple techniques.”
He further adds, “The first is autonomy – we don’t micromanage, nor do we hound each other. Everyone has the freedom to work at their own pace and on their own schedule towards their goals. The second is mastery – we provide all of the support, training, and extra-curricular education to ensure that each individual team member has the tools that will help them be a master of their craft. And, finally – purpose. We are also focused around the same mission and goal and know that we have an individual purpose that contributes to that dream.”
Stop Surviving, Start Thriving
Being in the, seemingly, “post COVID” environment in 2022 requires some unique strategies and milestones. Robert believes that Ctrl V’s milestones revolve around thriving without going into too much detail or laying out a business plan. Over the last few years, the company has been surviving while the virus, the government, the media, and the economy have all engulfed the world in their clutches. But now, Robert believes that the company can stop surviving and start thriving; its goals are simple: make virtual reality available to as many people as possible.