Blitz interview with Valery Krasovsky, CEO and co-founder of Sigma Software.
LDaily: What are the key indicators for the first half of 2019?
V. Krasovsky: Business is constantly growing for 25% in our key geographical regions – Europe and the USA. A new big consumer has appeared in Switzerland; we are also developing business in Middle Eastern countries. The company in Ukraine has passed the mark of 1000 people. Also, in the first part of 2019, about 300 people gained new knowledge from the company experts at Sigma Soft University courses, and more than 700 employees raised their qualifications.
LDaily: How do the employees influence the company’s success? What tools do you use for keeping track of their efficiency? What do you do with those who aren’t involved enough into the process? Do you help them find their inner motivation?
V. Krasovsky: Without efficient teamwork, without all of the members’ dedication, a company cannot do well. Understanding this very well, Sigma Software emphasizes on two main values – our clients and, of course, our specialists.
As for tools, there are a lot of them. Our business is dynamic. As it is developing, our attitudes are also improving, and they are meant to provide the following sustainable development of the company and the team. These are worked out career planning procedures; the creation of a development map for every expert taking into account their needs and interests; a developed mentoring program and knowledge exchange program; constant training of our experts; helping them get professional certification. The company also gives its employees wide opportunities to take part in developing the community of professionals by supporting and participating in various local, all-Ukrainian and international events. Moreover, there are R&D centers of the company in Kharkiv, Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa. Those who want to work with the latest technology and introduce new ideas can always join the research work, which is also a powerful impetus for IT professionals.
There are many examples of incredible career growth in our company: from an intern to an architect and department head, from a Junior-developer to a Delivery Director and American office chief, and many others. In Sigma Software, we are extremely focused on long-term teamwork, we believe in our experts and give them opportunities to develop.
LDaily: Could you share you plans for the nearest three years, please? Are you planning any new investments into Ukraine?
V. Krasovsky: Sigma Software annually invests into Ukraine, and we are going to do that further. These investments materialize as new cozy offices with a stylish interior where our experts can work well and take a rest. The company takes part in various projects, which are part of the corporate social responsibility strategy. One of the largest and most important CSR projects is the reformation and development of IT education in Ukraine, and it includes the cooperation with the top higher educational establishments, colleges and schools; common educational programs in the key trends, founding new modern innovative laboratories where our future IT specialists will be able to gain practical skills important for real projects.
Investing into education, we invest into the future of the field in general because IT is constantly lacking talented people, and in the long run, the need of specialists will increase more. We should train IT specialists according to the market needs; our company understands perfectly that without business taking part, it will be much harder to do.
LDaily: What challenges does your business face while working in Ukraine?
V. Krasovsky: The main challenge is that the government often changes, and this leads to the unpredictable law changes. Every new government makes IT business establish dialogue with the country and lobby for changes that can assure stable conditions for development. Sigma Software Company is actively involved in the cooperation with the government through specialized associations. For example, Volodymyr Bek, the co-founder of Sigma Software, has been leading the IT Committee of the European Business Association for almost 10 years. With the help of the top IT companies of Ukraine we succeeded much in the creation of transparent tax conditions, and in the support of IT education, and in the popularization of IT as a knowledge-based field, and in the abroad promotion of Ukraine as a country with the developed IT industry.
LDaily: Have you felt any changes in the business climate during the company existence on the Ukrainian market?
V. Krasovsky: Yes, over recent years, after the Revolution of Dignity, many things have changed in a good way, and it has influenced the business. Among other things, there was a substantial decrease in administrative pressure, deregulation from NBU which supported the foreign exchange liberalization and simplified the foreign investment; there was also the rejection of outdated approaches and policies (for instance, the cancellation of wet stamps) that made doing business complicated. Nowadays, a lot of things become easier. I hope it is approaching us to Europe and will positively influence the ease of doing business in Ukraine.
Other companies also feel the changes in the business climate. It was the subject of the common project of the EBA IT Committee and Liga Zakon: https://biz.ligazakon.net/interview/185504_shvedskiy-biznes-po-ukrainski
LDaily: Have you faced corruption in your industry?
V. Krasovsky: We almost don’t work with Ukraine; most of our customers are European and American companies. They managed to defeat corruption in those countries. Thus, no, we do not face corruption when working.
LDaily: How can the shift in power influence the company’s business? What are you waiting from the new authority? In your opinion, should the state interfere in business?
V. Krasovsky: The state shouldn’t interfere in business. This is what we are waiting from a new team. We hope this team will continue the positive reforms and introduce new ones. The authority should realize that for sustainable development, business requires transparent, clear and constant conditions for a long time, and their implementation is the task of the government.
LDaily: What, in your opinion, prevents business from functioning on the Ukrainian market properly?
V. Krasovsky: Unfortunately, most of Ukrainian companies aren’t ready to invest enough money into the IT infrastructure yet. They will rather choose cheap services than high quality ones. Therefore, Ukrainian consulting IT companies now generally work with foreign customers and develop solutions for selling abroad.
LDaily: It’s more likely that some mistakes were made over the company’s existence. Do you work on your mistakes? Who helps you with that?
V. Krasovsky: Of course, he that never climbed never fell. You can’t avoid mistakes at all, however, you can learn to accept and analyze them, to find the root of the problem and ways to solve and avoid it in the future. International standards and certificates help the company with it, for example, ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 which regulate quality management and cybersecurity systems. In our company, we always evaluate the processes and policies, exchange knowledge and analyze errors at all levels – from company executives and subsections to project teams that provide administrative aid.
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