We talked to Marcin Chołaściński, Chief Operations Officer at B-MIND, about product-service design and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Marcin Chołaściński: We are doing fine, thank you. Of course, this is a difficult time for everyone, but we can also spend more time together. However, we are still learning to maintain a good work-life balance, spending most of the time at home.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you joined B-Mind.
Marcin Chołaściński: 7 years ago I joined a small digital agency, which we managed to develop over the years into a major software house with an impressive portfolio of implemented projects, both for local and international clients. As a COO, I take care of the processes inside the company, not avoiding building lasting relationships with our clients at the same time. I am also still involved in project management.
How does B-Mind innovate?
Marcin Chołaściński: We support our clients in designing and implementing digital, innovative products that help to manage every element of their business. We are also happy to undertake projects related to IoT and Machine Learning. We operate comprehensively — from concept to implementation of web, mobile and server applications.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Marcin Chołaściński: The freezing of the economy had a direct impact on our clients’ plans and budgets, so many of our projects were canceled or postponed overnight. However, many of our clients devoted this hard time to refine and launch projects that had not been completed before. After a few difficult months, we started 2021 with the team scaling and some new prestigious contracts.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Marcin Chołaściński: We knew from the beginning that we did not want any dismissals or salary cutting — if we were to go through this crisis, then together, with our team. Freezing some of the expenses in the first 4 months of the epidemic allowed us to achieve this goal and quickly pay back all arrears. It confirmed our belief that the team and trust are the greatest values of B-MIND. Without mutual trust and all our employees, we would not have made it through this time.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Marcin Chołaściński: Remote work is nothing unusual in the IT industry, so we did not introduce any additional tools for working with the team, although we increased the number of periodic, short meetings or calls. In conducting workshops and designing services with clients, the collaboration tools like online whiteboards helped us a lot.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Marcin Chołaściński: It is not our goal to compete with other software houses. The satisfaction of our clients and the constantly growing portfolio allow us to stay afloat in these difficult times.
Your final thoughts?
Marcin Chołaściński: While the pandemic remains a real threat and the whole world is using lockdown as a way to deal with the crisis, entrepreneurs understand that the only way to survive is to adapt to the new reality. The Internet is currently even stronger and the demand of our clients to launch new digital services is growing. I am far from looking for the positive sides of this tragic situation, but I believe that the IT industry has a chance to come out of the current crisis even stronger and have a great influence on creating the post-pandemic reality.