How to create a world-leading company
based in Moldova.
A DevelopmentAid study case
In this era of digital communication, one of the most important resources is information and the ability to use it. At the Moldova IT Park, we also use and collect different types of data which we use to create new programs and initiatives for the development of the IT sector but today we would like to present another story to you.
The development of a country or a region is a very sophisticated process which involves many stakeholders. Public institutions, citizens and also donor organisations, private companies or nongovernmental organisations, together with high qualified specialists, must all form part of this process. But how can all these actors find information about the development funding opportunities available in a certain region or sector? How can they find the best partners to implement their ideas? Clearly, they can search for information on their own but this is a time-consuming activity which, in all likelihood, will not provide all the required data in a short space of time.
A wiser and less stressful decision would be to contact a company that specialises in providing business intelligence services and we have such a company here, in Moldova. DevelopmentAid, one of our ecosystem champions, was founded in 2007 by Luc Vocks, originally from the Netherlands. Today, the company provides its services to more than 1000 clients, located on every continent apart from Antarctica.
What is the idea?
Every developing country receives financial support from different bilateral and multilateral partner organizations. However, what is important to mention is that, in virtually every case, donors prefer to deliver financial assistance using complex tender procedures. Basically, each organisation that wishes to implement a project in the area of its specialisation wants to have the best technical and financial offers to choose from. This can be achieved through the tender processes.
The DevelopmentAid founder told us that the company collects information about every tender and grant available worldwide, on a daily basis. Accessing this pool of information facilitates the activity of private sector or non-governmental organisations that are looking for such opportunities.
“It is not just about finding and collecting the information but also about processing it in such a way that it takes our users exactly 3 clicks to access the requested data. We have developed a smart system that allows our clients to save time and stay ahead of competition”, stated Luc Vocks.
“What we also do is maintain information about our clients and the projects they have already implemented. This allows us to help the private sector and NGOs to find partners according to their needs. In this way, we facilitate the interactions and partnerships by offering intelligence about project portfolios. We also have an impressive database of individual consultants, categorized divided by specific domains of activity” added Luc.
For donor organisations, DevelopmentAid also provides a myriad of useful information about different companies, their past experience and what kind of projects they have previously been involved in. This helps greatly in the selection of the best candidate for a specific idea, project or program.
Over the years, DevelopmentAid has evolved to become the business intelligence platform of the development sector that unites international donor organisations, the private sector, NGOs and individual consultants, and offers them useful information on a daily basis.
The company was founded in 2007 and currently has about 180 employees working at its headquarters in Moldova.
Who delivers the information?
According to the company director, DevelopmentAid updates the long list of available funding opportunities daily with information gathered from over160 donor organisations. This means accessing more than 650 websites, including local and small portals. Imagine how difficult it would be for an individual or a company to find all this information in an acceptable timeframe.
“We offer high speed delivery of information because a delay can be expensive in this business. But we do not simply publish information. This is only the first step. What we also do is actually help to find partners and experts. We can also offer support in writing proposals or completing financial statements” stressed Luc.
The company also has specialists who can help companies and NGOs to analyse the market to understand how comparatively strong they are, and what their chances of winning a particular tender are. Preparing for a tender application is a costly process, but it can be even more expensive if the calculation is incorrect.
“We have sufficient capability and information to analyse the previous projects implemented by a specific donor organisation in a certain domain. We analyse with whom they have worked, how the project concluded and what the expectations are for the new tenders. This helps us to understand which games are worth taking the risk and which of those to concede.” the DevelopmentAid director believes.
Some processes implemented by the company are automated while others still need the involvement of qualified specialists. Thus, although the information published on the platform is free to access, it is these services that you need to pay for.
In 2017, the company became the world’s biggest platform by the number of paying clients.
Luc told us that he chose Moldova due to its specific labour market and the opportunity that it offers. According to him, the raw material in Moldova is good and people have the ability to become highly qualified specialists in a very short time. To continue to achieve this, each company should invest in development programs for its employees.
“I had big plans and very empty pockets – I started out with just a few thousand of Euros. I decided to come to Moldova and to start with a business that needed a lower level of investment so I opened a recruitment agency. Then, when the recruitment agency made money, I invested that in the IT company. So, this is the configuration that I applied, and it worked” Luc said.
DevelopmentAid became a resident of Moldova IT Park in the first month of its operation. According to Luc, the decision was taken because of the unique tax situation which allowed DevelopmentAid to invest in more people and to develop the company’s potential and portfolio.
“Money that was previously used to pay tax is now spent on salaries. This makes the IT sector more prestigious and profitable, and also maintains the availability of specialists for the local market” concluded the director of DevelopmentAid.
Interested in finding out more about DevelopmentAid and other resident companies?
Take a look at their COMPANY CARDS.