INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
The Digitization and Innovation Industry During the Covid-19 Pandemic in Singapore
We talked to Remi Tache, founder of Pixium Digital, about the use of technology to actualize projects and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Remi Tache: My whole family is doing fine during this period. We have the chance to be located in Singapore where the government is handling the situation very well, with low or no cases every day. Despite all the heavy restrictions set in place for almost 1 year now, life is almost back to normal.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Pixium Digital.
Remi Tache: I am a software developer by trade. I started working on QR code and virtual reality projects about 15 years ago at Teesside University in the UK and then at the National University of Singapore over 10 years ago where I did some research around augmented reality and cognitive science related to the virtual environment. I am a self-starter and always liked the entrepreneurial environment, building something from the ground up. So I started working for one before launching my own. I initially launched a project-based start-up 7 years ago with some friends which did not work. I took it as a learning experience to gear up for the next one, which I created 5 years ago: Pixium Digital.
How does Pixium Digital innovate?
Remi Tache: Pixium Digital is based in both Singapore and France. We offer innovation and digitalization to our clients with a strong focus on quality and scalability. We have 4 main verticals; HealthTech, CyberSecurity, FinTech, and IoT, the latest becoming our field of expertise. Over the past few years, we have developed strong expertise and most importantly collaboration with a few large corporations such as Amazon Web Service or Engie to name a few.
Our projects range from IoT monitoring for animals in industrial farms, large building energy management systems and monitoring, Healthtech projects around monitoring professional athlete performances, or various applications around the Life Coaching and Educational Tech. We love every single project related to tech for good which can have an impact.
The company constantly innovates by keeping up with the latest technology trends and cutting-edge technologies so we can bring the best to our clients with always a focus on quality, scalability, and cyber-security.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Remi Tache: It is hard to say if Covid had any impact on our business growth. We have been growing constantly over the past few years, which was also the case in 2020. The impact of Covid could actually be quite positive for us as a lot of industries had to face this situation with difficulties and are now really looking at innovation and digitalization. That is where we can provide our expertise and service.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Remi Tache: Fortunately for us, we managed to keep all our employees and even had to hire some more during the confinement. The new employees’ onboarding phase was the main challenge for us, especially during the confinement. We had to rapidly create strong onboarding documentation and processes.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Remi Tache: We always had strong transparency in the way we communicate with our customers and the way we manage our projects, timelines, and costs. We have different working methodology depending on the clients’ needs but try to always use Kanban Trello boards. This is an efficient but yet simple and easy way to manage the workload and interface with clients. Additionally, we use time tracking tools like Beebole which gives us a lot of insight into our performances and project costs.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Remi Tache: As a Singapore based startup, we had help from the government that covered a certain percentage of local employees and rent. I think the real deal for us was more around the fact that our clients managed to secure grants with our help around digitalization, which gave them budgets to develop or integrate digital solutions.
Your final thoughts?
Remi Tache: The way we see it is that Covid had 2 real impacts on companies. The first one is obviously this whole work from home situation. I feel like our employees, especially the ones with kids, have a more balanced work-family situation. Having a baby girl myself, I have to admit that being able to see her in between two meetings is a luxury I did not think I would have.
The second impact is around innovation and digitalization. Many companies are still behind and that gave them the financing (via grants or governmental support) and the will to start that process. We have noticed a massive expansion within the E-Commerce industry and every application around the health and self-improvement vertical. I think people are re-thinking their lifestyle and life focus. That was already the case over the past few years but the Covid has definitely accelerated that process.
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