We talked to Alex Safavinia of Explainer Videoly on how to bring a product, service or idea to life with a creative and engaging approach that promises real results and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Alex Safavinia: We’re doing well. I think we are used to staying at home nowadays that going out seems like a chore.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Explainer Videoly.
Alex Safavinia: I have a background in creative multimedia and animation has always been a part of my life. Back in 2011, when we started, explainer video was still a relatively new concept, and there were not many companies in the world that focused on the production of explainer videos. We saw the opportunity, and we took it.
How does Explainer Videoly innovate?
Alex Safavinia: There’s no limit to creativity. As technology evolves, we try to keep up with the latest trends and techniques. It’s always a process of continuous learning and experimenting. We want to be better than we were yesterday.
In terms of company culture, as most of our team members are young, we know that micromanagement will never work if you’re dealing with creative talents. Our employees have the freedom to work at their own pace unless there are rushing deadlines which require their full attention.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Alex Safavinia: During the start of the pandemic in March, we were unsure of where we were heading as things seemed pretty uncertain. Some clients pulled back on projects as their businesses were affected by the pandemic. Fortunately for us, the demand for animated videos rose due to the limitations or restrictions imposed on live-action productions due to social distancing.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Alex Safavinia: The difficult choice we needed to make was to let go of our fully renovated office and hop onto the work-from-home route. Nine months down the road and our team are OK with the work-from-home arrangement. It has helped us learn how to engage talents from overseas to join our team when there is a need for temporary expansion due to large projects.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Explainer Videoly in the future?
Alex Safavinia: In our industry, the stress and anxiety typically stem from tight deadlines and changing clients’ demands. It all boils down to an individual commitment to a group effort. I’m grateful that we have great team members who are fully dedicated and committed to making every project success regardless of the amount of stress it might give them. Running a company during unprecedented times like this pandemic would add to a CEO’s list of anxieties, but you will be amazed at how we humans adapt and change to survive. It is one of the top requirements for an entrepreneur, after all. Do not be afraid of change!
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Alex Safavinia: Playing in the international field (rather than regional) gives us several serious competitors. Our major competitors are in North and South America.
Almost a decade being in this B2B business, I learned an important lesson about our industry and that is if you wish to stay on top of the game you need to be one of the best in terms of quality and customer service.
Quality is to attract new clients, and the customer service is to retain them. It is a very competitive field for our clients and us as they are up against other companies who dedicate large budgets for creating bombastic explainer videos. It is almost like how packaging design works. We tend to buy a product with better and more premium packaging rather than a poorly designed one. A nicely packaged product sends out the vibe that it is from a more reliable and established company.
Your final thoughts?
Alex Safavinia: Running a business during a pandemic presents a whole new challenge for everyone. We have to make tough decisions for the best interest of our team. I believe by changing our operation to work-from-home for the time being, your team as a whole can benefit from the arrangement.
The lesser the overhead for the company, lesser commute time for the team so productivity increases. Besides, everyone stays safe and healthy.