First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Nick Gritsenko: All of my friends and family are well and healthy, thank you.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Kepler Team.
Nick Gritsenko: I got started as a software engineer back in 2011 at Relex. I worked in software development for a few years before deciding to move on in my career and became the project manager for international projects. Later I joined Kepler Team as the technical leader. Along with Olga Muller, we created the strategy to get our stakeholders on board with the focus on healthcare, which we were successful with.
How does Kepler Team innovate?
Nick Gritsenko: We introduced TechTalks into our local community, where we invite industry leaders to discuss technicalities and business planning. We talk a lot about transforming ideas into products and experiment with different technologies like AI and highly customizable and expandable IT devices. We view innovation from the perspective of trying to help the world through more efficient healthcare.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Nick Gritsenko: To be honest, the pandemic has not presented many challenges. We have an office in Charlotte, NC, and a development center in Russia, so there has always been a gap between our teams. We were communicating remotely long before the pandemic. It has been disappointing not to be able to go into the physical office and interact with each other, but of course, this issue is not unique to our company. It’s also been somewhat challenging for networking, but fortunately, there are many virtual events and platforms that we can compensate for.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Nick Gritsenko: The most difficult choice we had to make was choosing which industry to focus on, whether it be logistics or marketing or healthcare. We ended up choosing healthcare because we believe we should help people – we’re not just developing technology for fun. There was a concern over this decision since healthcare is very difficult to enter. Since being in this space, we’ve learned what we need to make ourselves stand out, which involves offering more than IT products. We also help with business development and analysis and can make referrals to our clients to help them connect with people who can help them with specific problems.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Kepler Team in the future?
Nick Gritsenko: For the company, we’ve had to meet virtually more often to work through problems and communicate. For me personally, I deal with the stress by trying not to get panicked. I have an agreement with myself that COVID is not more dangerous than the common flu because if you have chronic conditions or are not in tune with your health, the flu can also be dangerous. This helps me not to be fearful. I do all the necessary stuff like wearing a mask, working from home, and avoiding crowded places.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Nick Gritsenko: Our competitors are other companies in the healthtech industry. From my perspective, problems are the springboard for opportunities. From that perspective, any problem can be transformed into an opportunity. Our opportunity is to gain new markets, which the pandemic has presented from the growing need for telemedicine, virtual services like refilling prescriptions, and remote screening and diagnosis.
Your final thoughts?
Nick Gritsenko: Working in two different countries and time zones put us at an advantage during the pandemic by enabling us to keep things moving forward. I think this shows how competent virtual communication is at keeping people together.
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