We talked to Slava Vaniukov of Softermii on how they are building custom-tailored solutions for different industries.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Slava Vaniukov: So far, so good. Fortunately, everyone kept healthy and busy, even though the first month of quarantine was pretty hard mentally. Not everyone can adapt fast to sitting all of the time behind the same walls. We all eagerly wait for borders to be opened again!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Softermii.
Slava Vaniukov: In 2013, I’ve been working as a Lead Mobile Engineer for one company and already had a lot of experience completing projects for different clients together with a few of my friends. At some point, I’ve started to notice weak points in management and processes. It was so obvious to me, but not for everyone. The desire to make it right and in my own way appeared inside, and I’ve started to absorb information and to fill gaps. In 2014 it was time! I decided to quit my job and start my own company. One evening, I accidentally met my university friend Andrii, who has been working as a Lead Backend Engineer and doing lecturing for beginners in Computer Science. We talked for a bit and figured out that we both have the ambitions and knowledge needed to establish a software company. Since then, for more than 6 years, Softermii has been providing our clients with research and development services.
How does Softermii innovate?
Slava Vaniukov: With the evolution of the company, I’ve been gaining a lot of experience in different domains, and after a couple of years focus of our services was established based on most successful projects and since then we work in the following domains: Healthcare, Real Estate, E-commerce. Softermii builds custom-tailored solutions considering each client’s business objectives. Working for more than 4 years with video conferencing development, it became one of the strongest expertise; therefore, we gained a lot of demand from the start of 2020, introducing great value to our clients and helping them adapt to ‘New World’ conditions in a timely manner.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Slava Vaniukov: At the time this Black Swan came, the company was used to SCRUM methodology and online tools needed in order to work remotely in an efficient way, so on that side, we didn’t feel a lot of the impact.
From the Client’s side, some of them having business in the most affected areas had to ramp down for now due to quarantine. On the other hand, video conferencing had gained huge traction in 2020 during the coronavirus outbreak. Preventing direct contact with the people, all kinds of businesses and government organizations started to use video conferencing as an ultimate solution to connect with clients, employees, and remote workers. Having a lot of experience specifically in the development of video chats app, video streaming apps, and so on, our inbox started to fulfill organically so fast that we weren’t able to react as fast as we wanted. So for us, this year is really positive, I would say.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Slava Vaniukov: Even considering that 2020 introduced great growth to us, it is a world crisis anyway, so some of the decisions were pretty difficult to make in order to adapt to changed world conditions, but especially in crisis situations, you have to react quickly if you want to seize the moment to make the right turn and get the maximum benefit for your company. Until the next crisis in the next 10 years or so, according to the last decades, we have made a promise to ourselves that we’ll become 100% antifragile.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Softermii in the future?
Slava Vaniukov: My main rule in life in general, I call it 3S: Sleep, Sports, Sex. While you follow it, you will avoid a lot of issues easily, and it allows you to keep your mind and body in really good shape. Of course, it’s life, and you can’t know for sure what it will bring you the next day, but this rule helps me to go through difficult situations with confidence.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Slava Vaniukov: The Outsourcing and Consulting domain is a really red ocean, so there are many competitors in our field. The main reason why we are still in the game and growing is that we are constantly learning, following trends, giving great value to our clients, being not coders but partners for our clients. We love to provide Clients with really structured services and guide them through the process, making sure there will be solid results for the Client’s business in the first place.
Your final thoughts?
Slava Vaniukov: A crisis is a time when large enterprises are slow to changes adoption. That fact gives smaller companies and entrepreneurs an excellent opportunity to react much faster to innovate new services, which will give great value to people in terms of the new standard of the world.
Since the pandemic changes the way we interact, work, and live, it creates a new normal for video communications that will last long even after social distancing restrictions have been lifted.