Let’s look at the changes that have taken place in the field of IT & TECH over the last 10 years and how SEITEQ manages to adapt to new market trends in IT outsourcing and IT recruiting.
SEITEQ stands for Service Excellence in TECHnology. How does it relate to you?
Striving to keep doing things better is something that resonates with me. To deliver quality services to customers not only within the delivery of profiles (IT recruiting and IT outsourcing) or IT project solutions, but also within the communication, the progress of the order, or the level of outputs. We are lucky to work in the field of IT & TECH, where there is currently huge potential and new opportunities. It is a field full of changes. We are learning new things what makes us move forward.
How many changes have taken place in the IT outsourcing and recruiting market since you started at SEITEQ? What was the market like then?
Wow, how much time do we have? (laughs) So many things have changed – the types of positions, the areas people are recruited for, the expected experience, the scope of the market, or the way of dealing with customers. The scope of automation of processes and activities, specialization in positions, as well as the spectrum of completely new positions is increasing. Even though it is “only” 10 years, the changes have really been huge.
The field of IT & TECH has reached a completely new level. In the beginning, within the framework of our IT outsourcing and IT recruiting services, we delivered the profiles of junior specialists, now the primary requirements are for seniors. Customers need almost a “Chuck Norris” for their projects – a person who knows and can do everything???? Programmers must understand the business side of the project – what the final product will be used for, greater insight and input is required from them.
We started 10 years ago on the Slovak and Austrian markets, now we have experience with 11 countries, we deliver projects as far as Israel. Probably the biggest boom occurred after the covid period.
The way of dealing with the projects has also changed. Before, it was more about personal meetings, now there is no need to travel, we can arrange many things online, via emails and Teams calls. Although – for me there is nothing better than meeting in person.
What pleases me is that technologically everything “clicks” more smoothly. The applications we use at SEITEQ – OS, virtual servers, ERP, our CRM system, all with fast, simple and intuitive control. And surprisingly, it all costs us less. ????
What was better then? Do you think there is something you would like to get back to?
I think that in the past business contained more “humanity”. It was more personal. I also perceived more empathy of customers.
Now, time is speeding up, we want and need everything NOW. Everything is online, we are adapting to the new generation that works in this mode.
We are facing a lot of changes these days. Which brings, on the one hand huge opportunities in business, but on the other hand also greater risk and a lot of pressure.
A decade is quite a long period, what all happened in the company during this period?
I am very happy that when I look back, I see continuous growth for SEITEQ. The 2022 was the best year yet. We are a key supplier for the world’s largest IT companies and we perceive satisfaction with our work and have excellent references from our customers. That’s something that always makes me happy.
We also had ambitions to be an international company, we opened branches in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. We still have active customers there. But I have to admit that the vision and expectations were bigger. From my point of view, looking back now, it required more personal involvement in these countries, but unfortunately it was not compatible with my personal life. We learned our lessons and started international projects differently. Today, we already deliver our IT recruiting and outsourcing services to foreign companies even outside the territory of Slovakia.
And what is probably the biggest asset, during that time we were able to build a fantastic team of people who deserve my admiration and respect on a daily basis. I am very grateful to them.
Have you ever considered that different area would be more suitable for you? What made you particularly interested in the field of IT outsourcing and recruiting?
To tell the truth, I also considered a career in sports. I have always played sports and I really like sports. After all, I also graduated from mathematics and sport science ????
The whole IT field has a lot in common with mathematics – it has clear rules and logic.
But I also needed something more lively, some change. And that’s something you can always count on in the IT field. The development here is extra fast. New things fascinate me, such as new GPT V4. I enjoy working with people, I like business and project management. So I think this is an absolutely perfect combination for me.
Sport taught me to work on myself and achieve results. And that’s what I use in my work in this area – you have to have results, otherwise you go bankrupt. And the orientation towards achieving results simply adds juice to it. ????
What is your biggest achievement in those 10 years?
I think last year. SEITEQ’s 2022 results were truly exceptional. The company is stable and has further growth potential. I perceive a vision of success and I am happy about it.
The biggest challenge you had to deal with?
I think it was building those foreign branches. Different legislation, different mentality, hours and days spent traveling, lack of sleep and managing a family with 4 small children, all at the same time… It was not easy. I felt quite overloaded at that time and I think I was not able to perform 100% as I was used to. Customers, employees, family – they expect full support from you and they deserve it. That’s why I knew I had to change something.
Which area of management do you think is the most important for today’s leaders? In what do you think CEOs need to move significantly forward?
Definitely emotional intelligence (EQ). We have to be leaders even in challenging times and projects. Finding a balance between managing stress and maintaining just the right amount of empathy. The environment around us is like wild water in which we must learn to swim and conquer it. Educating yourself, moving forward, having a good sense for the environment around and new trends. Being active outside your comfort zones, also in personal branding.
How do you decide on new opportunities?
I am an analytical person. The first thing for me is always the analysis of new opportunities. I consider the potential benefits and possible risks. Also company internal capacity, our experience, knowledge in the given area, whether we are sufficiently prepared for it. I will also ask for help from above ???? to make a good decision.
In your opinion, how is SEITEQ different compared to the competition?
We are a Slovak company, without extensive corporate management, without an investor or a fund, therefore there is no pressure on us to fit into some box.
We passed the audits of large corporate IT companies and also ISO certification.
We decide for ourselves which direction we want to go and what we put on our shoulders. We decide on our goals and projects so that it fits with our visions and the character of the company.
If you hadn’t ended up at SEITEQ, what would you have done? What did you want to be as a child?
I have been playing sports since I was a child, so I wanted to be a coach or a sports advisor. As part of our studies within University, we were teaching at secondary schools and universities, I taught mathematics and physical education, I really enjoyed it. But I don’t know if I would dare to do that with today’s youth????.
What qualities do all your employees have? What unites them?
By character, they are all very value-oriented people. Honest and persistent. I am very glad that we have such a team, where we help each other, we get along well. I like them, I feel like among good friends. I enjoy going to work.
How is your company adapting to all these changes? After all, IT is the fastest changing field.
That’s right – the IT field is changing incredibly fast. We were mentioning it also here.
We try to keep up with the times, capture current trends. If a colleague discovers a new platform or course, we educate ourselves. We need to move forward in our work, learn new things.
We all know you are an passionate athlete. Do you see any parallels between the field in which you do business and triathlon (or sports in general)?
It’s definitely persistence, the ability to bite the bullet and take action. If the company ever did not perform well, we had a downward curve, it kicked me up, incited me to even higher activity. I didn’t lose heart, but I looked for solutions and just kept working.
The fact that you have top tools, experience and apps at your disposal does not mean that you will be successful. You still need to put a piece of yourself into it – energy, determination, motivation, perseverance … Because even if you have the best bike, if you lean it into a corner, you won’t win the race 😉
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at the beginning of this journey of yours?
Less emotions! Because in the beginning, I experienced it a lot, I put a lot of pressure on myself, I overloaded myself, dragged long days… Now I enjoy it much more. The balance, whole process, time at work and outside of it.
What are your next plans? What will we be our interview about in another 10 years?
I see huge potential in SEITEQ – it’s a running train that needs to be loaded well and it will work. We have new visions outside the IT field, interesting start-ups.
I enjoy learning new things, creating. To be an added value for society and Slovakia. Therefore for now, I don’t plan to retreat to an island, enjoy myself and let the company run on its own. I now feel the need to realize myself, to be in contact with this industry, colleagues, customers, to use my talents.
And how do I see it in another 10 years? I thought the covid crisis was the worst thing that could happen to us, but then the war has started. I will be very happy if in 10 years we would hear of more positive things and it will be a period filled with more good news and experiences. Hopefully in the future we will be able to speak of Slovakia as a technological tiger, similar to Estonia is already today.