Valerio De Santis of Emirates Graphic tells us about web design and development during the pandemic.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Valerio De Santis: We have been doing quite well during this unfortunate pandemic. The most important thing is to keep safe and respect the regulations and protocols implemented by the government.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Emirates Graphic.
Valerio De Santis: I started early on working for an Italian company here in Dubai, taking care of inventory and selling specific items. I have always been attracted to the world of sales as I believe it allows you to create some very special connections with people. I got recruited by Emirates Graphic around two years ago as a sales and business developer. The senior management at the company noticed my work and my sales and thankfully allowed my career progression to begin and then promoted me to be the managing partner. Furthermore, paving the way, allowing me to soon become CEO of our Italian branch set to open in 2022. Emirates Graphic is a digital agency focused on designing and developing web platforms and mobile applications as well as offering digital marketing to our clients.
How does Emirates Graphic innovate?
Valerio De Santis: We at Emirates Graphic ensure that all our services are up to date and offer the best possible experience for our clients. We make sure to do extensive research of the market and research any new technologies freshly released on the market, which may allow us to provide an added value to our clients. It is also vital for us to always be on top of our competitors, through the research mentioned above and through adapting our payment plans to suit our clients during these tough times. Furthermore, we have also managed to develop highly targeted and qualitative google ads while our competitors could not invest in marketing anymore. All of the above allowed us to keep our company a step ahead of our clients.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Valerio De Santis: Unfortunately, as we all know, Covid has affected all of us around the world. The main issues we have been facing during these hard times is the lack of capital invested in the market. Companies are now starting to invest less in their online presence as they need the money to maintain the company.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Valerio De Santis: We have had to make some difficult choices during this pandemic; however, we, as Emirates Graphic, have not let go of any employees, and that is something we are very proud of. We strongly value our employees, and the management, although we have met with many struggles, were able to salvage and maintain all of our positions throughout the pandemic.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Valerio De Santis: I believe that the key to a successful customer relationship is to be flexible and understanding. Not every client is the same, and that is why Emirates Graphic always tried to adapt to the clients’ request. Furthermore, it is key to build rapport with your clients and show constant excitement about the project. In terms of tools, we always look at the market for better tools being released; as of now, we use basecamp as well as other tools to maintain contact with our clients.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Valerio De Santis: Although we are aware that the governments will help any business during this harsh time. Emirates Graphic has managed to restructure and adjust, allowing us to proceed without any government benefits.
Your final thoughts?
Valerio De Santis: It is vital for us to invest in an online presence. The recent pandemic has shown that not everything can be maintained as a retail space. The best tip I can give is to invest in your online presence, keep innovating and never stop learning. This way, you will always be successful in life and stay ahead of your competitors.