Dario Boras, CEO at Parklio tells us about the new smart parking future.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Dario Boras: Thank you for asking. It has been a struggle for everybody. Health is a priority now, but I would say that we are doing well, no family member has experienced any severe health issues, and hopefully, it will stay that way.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Parklio.
Dario Boras: Company was founded by Josip Labrovic, Karlo Gaspar, Marko Smoljo, and myself 7 years ago. We have been colleagues at the University. We have been doing some projects together and knew back then that we are destined for entrepreneurship. During the road, we have been developing different things, but for the last 4 years, we have been focused only on the development of Smart Parking Platform Parklio.
How does Parklio innovate?
Dario Boras: For a long time, the biggest innovation in the parking industry was the change of color in parking places. Parklio is highly specialized in smart system development, with its core business being smart parking products that excel in functionalities and have a user-friendly interface that can be adopted by large markets. Parklio assures the highest standards in production and continues to develop innovative, high-quality products using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in harmony with precisely engineered IoT hardware.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Dario Boras: Coronavirus had a huge effect on us as it did on every other manufacturing company. Due to lockdowns, we were unable to obtain the raw material and were late with the majority of our deliveries. Supply chains have been extremely fragile for the last 12 months. Some of our suppliers have been permanently closed, so we had to find new reliable partners in a short time period. We had to reorganize the stocking of certain materials to avoid new delays, so it was quite an exhausting period. All of this is behind us now, and we are focusing again on new markets and new features.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Dario Boras: Entrepreneurship is the road you choose consciously, and you need to be aware that the path will be challenging and that certain decisions will have to be made. Everybody running a business at a certain point in time was faced with a difficult choice, and in that instance, all you can rely on is your judgment and experience. The team is the most valuable asset every company can have, but without the company, there is no team; therefore, when bringing difficult choices company’s best interest is always in the first place.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Dario Boras: We didn’t introduce any new software or specific tools during this “covid period.” We have increased the level of communication and adjusted our GTM strategy, which is already showing results.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Dario Boras: We are a company with our own product, and we are developing both hardware and software; therefore we have various competitors in both fields. In 2017 Parklio Barrier was an introductory product to demonstrate our innovative approach and emphasis on product quality. To complement our offer, we created a wide variety of unique, high-quality products that bridge the gap between the needs of the parking market and sophisticated technological solutions. This is the road we plan to follow in years to come, and we will continue to listen to market needs and create high-quality solutions.
What is your education level, and how much has formal education helped you in your business?
Dario Boras: I have a master’s degree in computer science. The only segment in which formal schooling helped me is networking. I met my current business partners and co-owners in the company in college.
The main brake on getting into entrepreneurship is fear !? Do you agree with this statement? If so, please give your advice to all those who are afraid to take a step in the right direction because they are shackled by fear …
If you do not agree with the above statement, please tell us your opinion, what is the main obstacle and how to overcome it?
Dario Boras: I agree with the statement and believe that there are 2 components to fear. One is the fear of personal failure, and the other is the condemnation of society.
There is only one formula for overcoming any fear, including the fear of personal failure, and that is to face it directly.
Fear of condemnation of society is, unfortunately, something that is very common in our area. Some cultures have a completely different culture in that regard and sometimes glorify defeats because you learn a lot more from defeats than from victories, and that should be a kind of maxim. Absolutely ignoring side stories, believing in yourself, your team regardless of defeat is the best recipe for this aspect of fear.
Just ask yourself a simple question. What is the maximum I can lose if I get involved in entrepreneurship? If you have the answer to this question and that maximum is something you are willing to risk, then be sure to do it. It would be very irresponsible to give everyone unique advice – be an entrepreneur! This is very selfish and reckless rhetoric because we are not all in the same life situations, and it is necessary to look at things from various perspectives.
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