Cyril Samovskiy, CEO and Founder at Mobilunity tells us what motivated him to start the company, and what defines their way of doing business
What do you currently do at ‘Mobilunity’?
I try to cover two opposite sides of a spectrum of duties – the first is visionary, to most services and departments we have in our structure, and the second is immediate and tiny things most people would think are not significant.
The reason for the first part is obvious – indeed, I had previous experiences and roles at very diverse positions, thus, with the company’s growth and development, a vision on what client and employee experiences should be still better comes from me.
As for the second part – with the company of over 200 now – I still know most of what is happening and why, only because the little things I notice and bring to the relevant manager open me a way for a detailed conversation on how exactly that function operates and is designed.
Also, these little things help a lot having small talk with the guests or clients, as let’s be honest, anyone can be talking things in general, but CEO knowing things for sure that deep is not a common fact. Putting an impact both from the top (vision) and bottom (little details) on the whole company, I know for sure what I commit to our partners – both clients and employees.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
Before founding Mobilunity operations were an essential part of my career (both on project, tech and people management levels). In 2010 I again consolidated my experience and skills to set my own (2nd that time) company where people were the main idea – will it be engineers, partners or company’s clients.
For decades Ukraine was known for the talented engineers it has. Historically we had a very profound technically oriented ‘school’ and the whole edu system was focusing engineering-wise professions. In recent years tech industry got more structured and mature – the companies with foreign capital and founders helped to shape the vision of Ukraine as a country that is able to create complex software solutions that are as well cost-effective.
Software development is always built around problem-solving and I wanted to create a company that would help to bring Ukrainian tech talent to aid companies across the world. I strongly believe that the tech industry is a great leverage for our country and being a part of the fast-developing ecosystem is truly inspiring!
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
I admire clients having big dreams. Not essentially changing the world or saving the planet, but those dreams that are big to a very specific client or manager representing that client. Such clients almost never fail with us, as their inspiration for potential future that they spread around themselves, their ability to think outside of the status quo, are making such people so adorable.
Sit and talk to them, and you will become part of their big dream plan, you will be same inspired about what value their dream will bring, or what excitement it will cause to people who are part of that dream implementation.
And, I admire colleagues who also feel they not only work for the client’s project, but also they represent a whole tech community of the country. Some things are hard to explain, and some are not worth mentioning, but every experience we as the Provider create for our Clients, are experiences where “Ukrainian developers” will be a subject.
Run a survey with nearshoring professionals in your area, and you will hear both awesome and horror stories of “outsourcing”. Having a right attitude, acknowledging the fact this is not Andrii only who “just works here” but rather a Software Engineer working 3 hours away from the client’s office, with his own (very much alike client’s!) mentality, values and of course personality, are those values for our employees that make me confident things are done right. Having such people on board is a big joy to me.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
Definitely. Maybe not from a strategic perspective – as I was lucky to get the right pieces of advice and making the right big moves before, as of now. But speaking of mistakes – I have done them too, a lot.
I very well remember a startup that I failed to make an agreement with, insisting on our model and terms, and then losing that business to a competitor. A loss that taught me not only how to do next time, but also showed me some weak side of myself that I then had a chance to work on and improve.
That startup finally was not a great client to the competitor of ours – it was a big pain to be honest – so strategically it was a relief not to start working with them. But, as this decision was not mine, it was a gap I personally made happen, and had to learn on how to avoid making it on time.
I remember every specific case when being demanding to my staff, I was too straight and too emotional, making my people very sad. I was sorry for those cases in time, and most of the cases, things were very well afterwards, but such things are still happening, as I am not the easiest person to work for. And, if I could in full, I would have changed that, to make my people’s lives easier.
And, another point, this might be more generic. I would have developed my own network of peer CEOs and Founders to be able to be turning to them with concern, question or experience shortage I might have in some aspects. As even not doing this too often, at least half of my significant insights putting a real impact on what and how we were doing originated from listening to (sometimes irrelevant) speech of peer managers, from another or alike industry. Having changed THAT in the past, I think we would have been even more successful now. Yet, I still have time to do this right 🙂
What defines your way of doing business?
It’s not a secret that Ukraine has a huge IT talent pool and we have here hundreds of IT service companies that are helping thousands of businesses to grow remotely. Having almost 10 years of experience and 40+ clients across the globe we developed a distinguishing model of 3Rs: Recruitment, Relationships, and Retention that helps us tackle major client pain points.
Recruitment: almost anyone can find a developer. The toughest part is about finding a fit for a particular client/product and having the capacity to build a strong team. We leverage our expertise and forefront recruitment methods to make sure we find a perfect match.
Relationships are the most significant part of our business. Every single day we invest in building and sustaining relationships between clients and dedicated teams by learning their needs and doing our best to satisfy them.
We feed other dimensions of Relationships by having both custom-built and client-centered Relationships philosophy with the Clients, and, on the other hand, with the Employees, whose personal and professional interests remain as a priority for us as the Employer.
Retention: we have dedicated people who take care of all operations, making sure that your team has access to all services and events to keep them useful, effective and, which we find very important, happy. Needless to say that it’s Relationships with others (colleagues, clients, partners) that matter the most.
Taking a look at our competitors you will notice that their positioning is either around technology (i.e. Java) or domain expertise (i.e. Banking industry). We at Mobilunity are totally focused on People and they are our core, key strength and inspiration. Our people may be the same good Java Architects working for the same Banking client our competitor has. Our model is just different, our proposition is, our delivery is, and, down the road, our pricing is different.
Another important thing to add – we never compromise on quality. Our success in Switzerland (#1 geo by the number of clients for us) and pace with which this region grows with us also speaks for the quality of our services. Needless to say, that Swiss companies wouldn’t have any relationships with somebody who is not providing high-quality standards this country has. Our clients from Insurtech, Fintech, E-commerce, and many other areas approach us not because we are able to provide expertise in some particular field, but rather because we are really skilled in providing them those people who have that expertise and are a match to their company.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
This is a small world and we all need to benefit from it. My biggest advice to those starting out – be more open. I remember myself 9 years ago – one humble and optimistic guy against hundreds of challenges and tough decisions. Most of the time, the best decision came out of communication with peers and CEOs of other companies (even competitors).
You don’t need to be afraid that someone will steal your idea – generally, people are good and frankly speaking – quite often the idea itself is worth nothing. It’s purely about customization and implementation of that idea in your realm.
For me personally, communicating with other people, successful or not, in their fields, is one of the most efficient educational channels. Relationships are a core value that determines success, so make sure you are open to the world and have a sincere interest in other people.
And one more important thing – if you decide to set up your own company, build it purely based on what you yourself believe in. Not necessarily it will lead to success, but at least you will know what your beliefs are worth 🙂