Anatoly Silko, CEO & founder of Rocking Tech tells us about effective web design and development for radio broadcasting and other music-related industries.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Anatoly Silko: Luckily, everything is quite good so far. I believe we all had a chance to re-evaluate our values and concentrate on what’s really important. And that’d be resilience – ultimately the best virtue.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Rocking Tech.
Anatoly Silko: I’ve always been a big fan of technologies: an engineer, a web developer, and a project manager at several radio stations, later a technical team leader. My own venture started as a one-man-band in 2016 in Moscow, Russia, where I am originally from. Shortly after graduating from Cranfield MBA, I established Rocking Tech here in the UK. It was a new name, a new vision, and a grand relaunch. The passion to create new and independent ways of solving problems is still my main driving factor.
How does Rocking Tech innovate?
Anatoly Silko: At Rocking Tech, we have two passions – music and technologies. We create bespoke websites for radio broadcasting and other music-related industries. And we’ve been always very keen on innovating: from small snippets that save 10 seconds of typing/clicking, to more fundamental solutions like our own bespoke CRM system.
Last year, we created the Instant Quote mechanism, which asks the right questions about your idea and instantly generates a precise quote. Later that year we also launched our own Website Monitoring service. The pinnacle of our endeavors is the Website Builder we’re working on at the moment. It is due to the public launch later this year and it’s going to be a monumental break-through, our research confirms.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Anatoly Silko: Just like any other company, we faced all these new and scary things. For instance, we lost some business. Lack of tenants or music events made some of our customers struggle a bit more than others. On the brighter side (if there could be one), I revamped the company’s vision, and eventually, the business gained more. The company’s financial strategy was successfully verified and it helped us to carry on with our mission. Being fully online, being able to bootstrap – this sort of thing.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Anatoly Silko: 2020 was crucial in terms of reassessing the company strategy, plans and needs. Overall, a transition to a more dynamic per-project basis was made from the old in-house approach. It was a leadership challenge too.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Anatoly Silko: At Rocking Tech, first and foremost, everything is online with all the various tools the IT community dwell on. Trello cards, Git-flow, etc – our customers love that. I’ve taken some excellent insights into building those relationships from NatWest Accelerator and have tried new ways to engage with people. For example, our collaboration with Leona Graham of Absolute Radio has started as a simple conversation on Instagram.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Anatoly Silko: Last year, amid the first wave, I applied for a COVID-response grant from Innovate UK, a part of UK Research and Innovation. Our idea was to provide 50 local Bedfordshire businesses with bespoke e-commerce websites and let them trade online. This year, I’m planning to engage in the Kickstart Scheme, which connects youth and businesses by creating funded job placements. Businesses get help and young professionals gain experience; healthy signs of economic growth.
Your final thoughts?
Anatoly Silko: Don’t ever give up and, of course, don’t look back in anger.