We talked to Miroljub Boskovic, Chief Business Officer and Partner at Ingosoftware, about the full-cycle software development company and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Miroljub Boskovic: We are well, thank you for asking. Fortunately, nobody in my closest family got sick, but still, it was – and still is – a trying time for us. Many friends and family members were sick, which is always worrying, but especially now.
Also, balancing working from home with raising young children is challenging, which I am still enjoying as our return to the office is uncertain. But I am feeling optimistic with vaccine rollout in Serbia being strong. Hopefully, the world will come back to something close to normal soon.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Ingosoftware and got to the current role?
Miroljub Boskovic: I joined Ingsoftware very quickly after getting my Master’s Degree in Software Engineering. Within the company, I started as a software developer, and as Ingsoftware grew, my role changed to project manager and then to CEO and a partner in the company.
In 2019 we started an extensive restructuring aimed at preparing ourselves for long-term, steady growth. As a part of this reorganization, I took on the Chief Business Officer role, which means I am in charge of developing new business opportunities for Ingsoftware.
How does Ingosoftware innovate?
Miroljub Boskovic: Since our earliest days, we have been dedicated to instilling a mindset of innovation within our team. We even made this one of our company values to support engineering freedom and creativity. This has led to providing the best possible solutions to our clients and engineering new ways of doing things when existing solutions weren’t good enough.
This mindset has given our team the freedom to think about new products beyond our clients’ needs, which led to developing several innovative solutions for ourselves. This includes back-office applications we are using in day-to-day operations and new products like FamiliPay that was recently launched on the US market, and Makeup Master, which is at the early adopter stage.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Miroljub Boskovic: In spring of last year, it was almost like somebody pulled a handbrake. Many of the active projects have been paused, and several negotiations were delayed, so we had to endure some very tough months. During this time, we didn’t aimlessly wait but have been proactive with our clients – asking them how they are coping with the pandemic and finding ways to continue working together during the most challenging months in recent history.
We also started focusing our sales and marketing efforts on the industries that have seen growth during the pandemic. These challenges led to a much better outlook at the end of Q3, and we finished 2020 stronger than anticipated. Not only did we manage to lessen the influence of spring “fires,” but we also ended the year better than projected. And we are seeing this trend continue with new clients and projects coming on board in the last 2-3 months; now, we have twice as many active projects as we had during the same period last year.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Miroljub Boskovic: The first decision we made was not to fire anybody and make any necessary adjustments to endure the new situation. This decision included showing solidarity with all of our team members and being fully transparent about our company’s situation. And yes, we had to make some decisions to control costs, but as mentioned, we managed to turn the situation around and recover fully and keep growing beyond our predictions.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Miroljub Boskovic: Luckily, we didn’t have to change anything in this regard. Since most of our clients are from other countries (Austria, Switzerland, United States, to name a few), we already had efficient processes to ensure our clients are always kept informed about their projects’ progress.
When COVID-19 struck, we made an extra effort to talk with all of our clients and assure them that our team is there for them and that our work will not suffer.
Your final thoughts?
Miroljub Boskovic: While I am cautiously optimistic about expecting to come back to a somewhat typical situation, I am encouraged by what we as a human civilization showed in 2020. Once again, we made it clear we can adapt to changing circumstances and endure tough challenges thrusting at us. This optimism gives me great hope for the future!