Hello, today we would like to present you interview with our two founders Szymon and Krzysztof. Guys will tell you about how it all started and what they plan to do further with this company. Also in the picture, you can see how they looked like when they started their own business!
1. How have you come with the idea for your own business? Have you worked before in e-commerce services company? Was it so bad in the previous company?
We wanted to create something new. While working in the company we met each other, we knew we can provide customers with high-quality services. We really liked people we were working with and we miss them. The desire to create something new, something different was stronger. That we decided to create our own IT company. The company which was made of passion and need for self-realization. Something that we could not achieve while not working on our own.
2. How you came with an idea for such business? Was it always your dream about such company? Maybe you wanted something else?
Well, we saw that there is a need for such services and that marketing and sells world is going this way. More sells than technical. Krzysztof was making research before met each other. Thanks to his colleagues and friends he was able to realize that Magento is very popular in the USA and western Europe. Firstly this company was meant to take care of all development and technical services. Unfortunately, we realized that we can’t take care of such big market area that’s why we decided to take care of what we do best which is e-commerce services.
3. E-commerce services are a relatively fresh topic in Poland, it is still in development but becomes more popular. On the east, it is far more advanced. How do you feel about working with Polish and foreign customers? With who you feel cooperation is going best?
Lately, we don’t have a lot of project from Poland. Sometimes it was really hard to cooperate with small polish companies who would like to create their own online shop or something. Polish customer was mostly very about our services or working with us. Also, the problem is that many solutions are not available for Poland or are beyond the reach of Polish customers.
That’s why our goal from the very beginning was to work with companies outside of Poland. We liked the way they dealt with things and how our cooperation was always going. They are openminded, thinking broadly and opened for new services. Thanks to this we were able to learn a lot of new technologies and solutions that we are ready to implement for our Polish partners. In such relations, we were always cooperating nicely and together were looking for a problem and deal with them. They weren’t blaming us if something happened and looking for problems that weren’t there. We are not telling that Polish companies do always like this but you know situation happens.
What is most important for us to keep our customer and provided them with solid and long-term services.
4. Your company exists since 2012. That 5 whole years. How do you fell with that? What is best and worst experience with your own company?
In general, we didn’t expect it will go that well and we will be here where we are now. To be honest I never expected to achieve something like this. The reality of being the specialist in something and being the boss of your own company is really different. It was hard to reconcile this two things. We had to partly abandoned to develop ourselves as a unit. We had to start thinking about the company as our priority and its development. Doing something for “greater good”.
We would part this 5 years into two stages. First where were have been developing ourselves and our technology and how to implement our solutions, it made sense when our company was small. When we have begun to grow and more employees and projects came we had to change our mentality. We started to think more about company and development of our employees.
Krzysztof: It is hard to choose one best experience within this company because there were many. Our very begging was something awesome. When we finally got our own office and took the first employee. Acquiring our first partner https://www.dna-test.nl . Our first opportunity to meet him in the person. Our whole company, creating our team and all projects we are taking care of our one big awesome experience.
Szymon: I agree with Krzysztof. Also I cooperation with customers worldwide for example from China or Saudi Arabia. The happiness and joy with which we are greeted when we give them a finished project. How they see us and what and how they appreciate us. But when comes to moments I think when there were more employees than founders. It may sound funny but yeah that was awesome feelings. I really have good memories of our first project from AWS or our first responsive online shop.
When it comes to the worst situation I think it is saying goodbye to our employees. Second thing together we can think about is losing our partner because his investor decided to leave him. It was our first lesson of life and humiliation. We two were working for them with all our strength but in the end, it didn’t matter. We just came one day said it is over. That was real shame. Also when we were still a small team and somebody had to take a day off and other had to take his task to make it done. Sometimes frontend developer had to take backend job. It doesn’ sound too difficult but it is, believe me. Small problems of small companies.
5. Firstly you were known as Light4website, now it is PandaGroup. How you came with the idea for both names? Why you have decided to rebrand
It was Szymons idea for the first name, but with time we realized that is wasn’t the best choice. Light meant that we are doing something best we can and it give shine and polish to our customers sites. Website because we wanted to do all services from online shops to normal websites and blogs.
We came with PandaGroup after getting feedback from our customers that our previous name was hard to remember it wasn’t very clear to them. Also, Polish customers had problems with pronouncing or remembering it. We needed a name that will be short, easy to remember and nice to associated. Our employees and customers were helping us with the rebranding, they gave us feedback and then we have decided to stick to panda.
6. Your company now has over 20 employees. That’s a lot of people for business oriented development company. What are your plans for future, even more, people?
Our future plans are for sure even more people, even more projects. We want to continue on broadening our range of services. We want to provide our customers with even better technologies and services. It is very important to us. We want to develop both our company and our employees. We want them to gain experience in ways they feel the best and can provide our customers with. We want to cooperate with companies that can provide our customers with needed services that we are not able now too. We want to develop better UX, design and marketing services. We want to improve for our customers best experiences.
Our inner goal is to have 70-80 people. Well if there will be more like add one zero at the end it would be cool too. We want to work on others commercial platform such as Shopify, Demandware, Sylius. Those are platforms we are already aware of, but we still need to get better with them. We are even interested in new polish projects from IT market.
7. How would you encourage new coming employees or people interested in your company? What do you think is biggest pluses of your company?
When it comes to new employees or people interested in working for us, they are always welcome. Our biggest pros are the team, work environment and that everyone is welcome in here. Our team is full of helping and kind people, we especially encourage young people who want to make their first step into development world and are afraid they might get rejected. If we see potential in you we will give all we can to help you improve and find your way to fit into our team. To be honest, if someone is interested to check our “join us” page and when you come to us we will explain you everything.
What would we say to our maybe customer who would like to know what we can offer to them? Well, we can provide you with best technical support and development everything in one place. There were situations when we had to learn something to provide our customers with services they needed and always in such moments we were giving our best to find solutions for them. We don’t have long decisionmaking process that lets us take care of our customers almost immensely. Thanks to all this we can provide our customers with even more and better services.
To sum up we are really happy how things are going. We have a lot of interesting projects and even more openminded people in our team.