We talked to Konstantin Romanovsky, Principal CEO of KoenigFinance, an all-business, multipurpose finance platform, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Konstantin Romanovsky: Thank you, my family and my team are safe. Some of our team members have suffered a light form of coronavirus and have already returned to work.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded KoenigFinance.
Konstantin Romanovsky: I’m pretty humble and not used to publicity. You will hardly find information about me on the Internet. So let’s just say: I am 41 years old and happily married with kids.
I founded KoenigTech in 2007 when my partners and I joined together with an idea of creating an all-business, multipurpose finance platform, KoenigFinance.
Both company and platform names come from the old name of the city I was born in. My hometown was called Koenigsberg before World War II.
Despite the fact that KoenigFinance will turn 14 this year, we are called a startup because initially, we created our platform for our business tasks and only in recent years entered the fintech software market with this solution.
How does KoenigFinance innovate?
Konstantin Romanovsky: Progress in the IT field is rapid, and if you don’t grow daily, your business is doomed. Our platform is constantly being improved. We refine the product almost every day and release regular updates.
We are especially proud of our state-of-the-art KYC system that every client can customize for their business needs, as well as the built-in client video verification system, which is a very effective risk-mitigation tool.
Before the outbreak of the pandemic, we enhanced the platform with a solution for money transfer systems. We did it just in time: the lockdown has clearly shown how important it is to develop services for online money transfers, improve existing systems and launch new ones. Who knows for how long we are stuck in this situation where we have to support our loved ones remotely.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Konstantin Romanovsky: You know, doctors say that Covid seems to be looking for weak points in every organism and attacking exactly them. The same thing happens in business. During the Covid period, every company saw its weak points. The pandemic has shown in which areas there are problems and to what extent we are prepared to eliminate them in order to survive.
We have long before organized our company operations in such a way that, being in different cities and countries, all team members are constantly in touch, the workflow is transparent, and quality management is automated to a degree where even Covid could not affect it. By the way, we passed ISO 9001 quality management certification right in the midst of the pandemic. It was not easy both for the auditing company and for us.
The interest in our platform increased significantly after the first lockdown hit England. It seemed that after the residents of the capital of world banking were forced to lock themselves at home, they finally found the time to study our product and make a good decision to work with us. This allowed us not only to stay afloat but even to expand our staff. Among other members, we hired an accountant, a compliance officer, and an information security specialist.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Konstantin Romanovsky: If you are talking about the problems with maintaining salaries and jobs, then we practically were not affected.
The main lesson that I learned as a CEO is that there is no need to be afraid of remote work; you should trust yourself and the team more. Previously, it was important for me that we meet every day in the office, I worried that I could lose control over something important, but the pandemic made me change my opinion.
We followed the news in Italy and the rest of Europe, and when it became clear that it’s just a matter of weeks before the quarantine reaches us, we moved our workplaces to our homes completely. And you know what? The lockdown has already been canceled here, but only a part of the team returned to the office; the rest continue to work remotely, including me.
So I’m glad we were flexible and quickly adopted. The employees chose a comfortable working format for themselves, and I now trust my team even more.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Konstantin Romanovsky: To interact with clients, we have been using online task trackers for many years, so the lockdown didn’t really impact our work routine.
All business processes in our company are transparent and easily controlled, wherever our team members or our clients’ staff are.
Not a single task set by the customer can be lost; every suggestion for improving the product will be heard and implemented, all technical support requests are processed within their defined timeframe. I don’t want to mention specific software brands here; let’s simply say that they are well-known and established solutions.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Konstantin Romanovsky: You know, we try not to be bound to the government, as receiving support entails serious preparation, costs, and risks. Moreover, it means a certain dependency. In general, we are used to relying only on ourselves.
Your final thoughts?
Konstantin Romanovsky: No matter how the pandemic goes now, one thing is clear: the coronavirus has changed our minds forever. People are obsessed with the idea of digitizing and automating everything they can, inventing global system solutions that would allow businesses not to depend on such epidemics in the future. And those who find a way to do this will gain a competitive advantage.
I’m sure KoenigTech will be one of these companies!
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