The point where work starts. Coming to Moldova to open a business in IT is not a difficult thing to do. A success story from Gagauzia
During the lifetime we have a lot of ambitions and goals. Some of us dream of a decent live and a good job in a European country, other ones – to travel and discover new cultures or to have a happy family with 5 children. There are people that want to be professional football players, pilots or TV stars. Meanwhile, some of us are enjoying the life by facing different challenges in implementing new ideas. Today, our story is about a person that likes risk and has big dreams. Alexandr Baboglo is a Ukrainian that came to Moldova and opened an IT company in Comrat.
Young company with ambitions
Work Point was founded back in June 2018. At that moment, Alexandr Baboglo decided that it’s time to undertake a new challenge. He left his life in Berlin and came to Moldova to invest his money and energy in an IT company.
“I was ready that it will be very hard to find specialists, but that haven’t scared me. I wanted to create opportunities for youth, and this is what I am currently doing”, proudly told us Alexandr.
After less than two years, his company has 12 employees. They are different and young. Almost all of them don’t have IT studies, but this is not a problem since they are ready to work hard.
“Only one of our employees studied IT but the other ones come from different domains. The youngest one has 19 years. He is a student.”,pointed the company’s founder.
In 2019, the revenue of Work Point was more than two million lei (around 100k EUR). The investment in company was about one million lei (around 50kEUR). The activity is divided in two: 50% of work is dedicated to outsource services for big clients from Moldova and outside, while other 50% of resources are invested in own projects.
“Now we are working with big international companies and this helps us a lot. We understand how their products are built, what are the standards they are working with. This helps us make our own projects at the same level”, affirms Alexandr.
For Work Point, gaining profit and succeeding seem to bring particular value in the context of a greater goal – contributing to the IT services development in the region and boost its growth.
“Our goal is education, hiring and offering people new opportunities. We would like to become an accelerator, a platform where people can come to study and develop their projects. If in 2 years, for example, some of our employees will come to me and say he or she wants to start own projects, I will give my full support” highlighted Alexandr.
The ambition of Work Point is to hire and train at least 100 specialists in marketing and design as they deliver digital marketing services to big international companies like Uber, Amazon, Spotify and Western Union.
The company is also planning to invest more resources in software development and web design & programming. But, for now, the important result they have managed to achieve is being a well-known and trusted IT company on regional level.
“When we started, people were thinking of us as of a financial pyramid or other bizarre things. Now, people recognise us as an IT company and their trust is very important for us.”, added Alexandr Baboglo.
One of their most recent products is a mobile application for studying foreign languages. You can currently choose from five languages like Russian, French, Spanish, Germany and, of course, English. The next step is to add Chinese and Hindi.
“Knowing one of these languages, you can learn others. The app is very simple and intuitive with cards, mini-games and special exercises that you can do” said the product owner.
The app was developed in collaboration with teachers, which gave instructions on words and methods to be used. They already have customers showing good results and are planning to continue investing in the development of this app.
“From the very beginning we developed this app for international costumers. Since we have a big number of competitors, we’re investing a lot in advertising. We are competing to get users’ attention, and a huge advantage in this is the big catalogue of languages that can be studied”” explained Alexandr.
The objective for this year is to launch 10 apps.
“We act simply; we are taking an existing code and develop or adapt it to our needs. We are thinking about different applications, from online game to culinary recipes and tips”, affirmed company’s representative.
One of the apps we want to develop is My Comrat. It shall be a platform for communication between authorities and citizens used by people for reporting the problems they’re facing. Like an Instagram, but restricted to Comrat only.
“In Gagauzia we don’t have dedicated institutions growing talents in IT field. Because of this, we are working with people that have a degree in other fields meanwhile acting as a training centre. We organise different kind of events, master-classes and trainings. Most of our employees are willing to gain new skills in IT and these are the people we’re looking forward to work with. For example, we organised about 100 interviews and only 5 persons had the English level that we were looking for. From those 5, 2 were hired and are working now with us” said Alexandr.
The hiring process itself is interestingly organised as every newcomer is passing a dedicated test and goes through a discussion with the psychologist.
“We need to be sure that we can offer to the candidate the best job” he concretized.
Beside professional abilities, Work Point also teaches people time management and other skills important for the work process. Thus, employees work 7 hours per day, from 9 am to 5 pm, first working hour being dedicated to learning. Each employee is taking different courses or trainings for professional or personal development.
“Our ultimate goal is creating own products but we are limited in resources. Gagauzia has a lot of talented young people but they are still searching for themselves. Our goal is to help them. So, we’re looking for local leaders that have ambitions, and help them create own products. We believe that this is the way we can have interesting projects.” said Alexandr.
In the future, Work Point is also planning to go to schools and explain children what IT means, and showing that working in IT is interesting and profitable.
Where the investments come from
Before coming to Moldova, Alexandr Baboglo lived in Germany and worked in different companies, including Data First. He was inspired by the German business model and wanted to bring it to our country.
He has chosen Gagauzia because his parents are from the South of Moldova, even if he was born and grew in Odessa, Ukraine.
“When I decided that I want to leave Berlin, I had to choose between Ukraine and Moldova. So, I decided to come to Comrat” said Alexandr.
He started his first business when he was 17 years old. It was about selling online auto parts. In 6 months, he made about one million of Ukrainean hrivne.
“I wanted to start with an innovative idea and bring something very special to market. Of course, like most of us are doing. So, I found in France a manufacturer of an illuminating fibber material. It allows changing the colour of material upon your preferences. I also found a person that can make from this material a women purse. What can be more innovative than a women bag that can change the colour. So, I made one item and wrote to an online shop about my product. They answered and asked me for 5 items for testing. But I had only one and no more money for the second one. After that, I came to conclude that I need to start with a standard idea” confessed Alexandr.
He studied engineering and telecommunications in Ukraine, and got his first job there. But the salary didn’t impress him.
“I calculated that I should work more than 42 years in order to buy the car I wanted. So, I decided that something is wrong, and I made the change” he added.
Currently, he can give a job to 30 people but every new hired person means time allocated for training. This is the hardest part.
“Firstly, we would like to have all the processes well established and to have more employees. Work Point is the project of my life. I invest a lot in it because I am convinced that it will resist over the time. I had an ambition to establish an IT company and now I have it. The investments are made from my money. This is the point where my money is on the table” proudly told us Alexandr Baboglo.
Work Point became a resident of Moldova IT Park in February 2019 and since then its revenue keep increasing from quarter to quarter. The company is open to new partnerships so don’t hesitate to find more information on its company card.
Interested in finding out more about Work Point and other resident companies?
Take a look at their COMPANY CARDS.