Vasyl Soloshchuk: “We Develop Complex Enterprise Software Products”
Vasyl Soloshchuk is CEO of INSART company and co-founder of Kharkiv IT Cluster. He often travels to the US to work with clients as well as to learn about the latest IT industry trends for their further implementation in Ukraine. Vasyl told us about the history, initiatives and achievements of INSART Company.
How did you become the company’s chief executive?
Since childhood, I was interested in math, computers, programming, but apart from that, I liked to manage people. In the days of school and university, together with like-minded people we tried to develop own products and games. We had some success, so that by the completion of our studying there formed a small group of freelancers – IT Incubator Team. At that time I was very much focused on programming and did not think about setting up a company. Together with my colleagues we started taking projects on freelance basis: created sites and simple programs. We had succeed and by the end of our studying we already had a quality portfolio, focused on web projects. Soon, our team decided to work on more serious IT solutions: we used to work with PHP, but then we got to an enterprise level and began to learn Java that in the early 2000s was on the rise. We decided to use Open Source IT products for the development.
My father established an IT-company in 1993, which was a business partner of IBM: the sale and implementation of systems based on IBM (hardware, software) – for banking sector, scientific research, and other industries. If in the 90s INSART company existed only in that format, by the beginning of the 2000s it turned into a successful training center in the field of IT-, intellectual property and other issues.
Thus, graduating from the university in 2006, I already had a well-coordinated freelance team, and my father had a successful brand associated with IT, so we decided to join our forces. I became a partner and CEO of INSART company.
A good impulse for my development became my traineeship in 2008 in the United States at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. I got to know how a large corporation worked from inside and understood the culture our main customers’ country while living in the United States.
Today INSART is a service company engaged into the development of a full cycle of software products and applications working primarily with the US market with such key competences as:
- Development of Java Enterprise application;
- FinTech and Financial Services;
- Big Data, Data Science & Analytics.
How are business processes organized in your company?
INSART is a small company trying to avoid bureaucracy to remain flexible. However, we have a clear structure and well-organized processes. Delivery is the main department of the company, which is engaged into the development and release of software products and applications for our customers. Marketing & Sales department is the main point of the company’s growth – it promotes our services to the market and searches new customers. An important aspect is financial management and legal support of the company. HR and recruiting for IT companies is one of the key processes: search, retention, motivation and development of personnel and talents. We want our employees to be satisfied and engaged into interesting for them projects and tasks, feel the significance of their results for other people, have the opportunity to professionally develop. Cooperation with universities, working with qualified professionals in the labor market, internal school INSART IT Academy and our IT-meet ups contributing to the appearance of experts in our midst helps us in recruiting new staff.
What are the main achievements of the company in 2015?
Despite the geopolitical troubles in Ukraine, we managed to perform our activities at a high level in 2015, we did not lose our customers, with some of them we have even extended our cooperation. I think, it is a great achievement, given the fact that our main development center is in Kharkiv, and we consider it the best location for IT business in Ukraine. Our way is only growth.
The second achievement is strengthening in our strategy. After a strategy session in December 2015, we consolidated the vector of our development: although we are a small company, but we have a full development cycle of sufficiently serious software products and applications of industrial level. Our core technological competence is Java Enterprise stack. The core business domain is FinTech and Financial Services. Also, we have recently started to develop a direction associated with Big Data, Data Science and data analytics. The need for these services is now just awesome. As a result, we have begun to face large customers, typically working with larger outsourcers, and conclude long-term contracts with them..
Tell us about your initiative in 2016 – Smart Club?
Last year I spent a lot of time in the US, since it is our target market, I saw the development level of meet-ups (professional meetings) movement there. I saw a great variety of meet-ups devoted not only to the development, but also to business interests and so on!
I think this is a cool initiative for networking and exchange of experience among experts. In the last few years there have appeared many different activities of this nature In Ukraine, but their number is still considerably less than abroad. It is positive and correct to organize such events.
The company’s strategy for the current year includes a consolidated desire to develop IT-community so we have launched our new project – Smart Club for Smart Talks. It is aimed at middle and senior-level developers, while its themes shall cover all the levels of architecture: front-end, backend and server level, databases, test automation, and more. The speakers shall not only be our employees, but also third party experts with extensive experience in a particular field.
The event quickly became popular among IT specialists of Kharkiv City. What’s the secret?
I carefully studied the way of holding meet-ups in America. Our team tried to adopt the best experience of such events to the uttermost. Now we introduce own features. In addition, the meetings are free, and we do not intend to change this. Last, but not least is good speakers – these are the key components of Smart Club’s success. We had over 150 visitors at the last meetings, and the number of people signed to Facebook group exceeds 500 people.
You have become one of the founders of Kharkiv IT Cluster. Why did you decide to participate in it?
The end of 2014, military operations in Ukraine, customers in the United States are concerned, when we tell them where our R & D-center is located… They forget that Kharkiv is a scientific and educational center of Ukraine. Any crisis is the time when one shall start something new to turn the tide in his favor and to create a solid foundation for the future development. We have realized the need for actions, aimed at the development of Kharkiv as a brand in the international arena. The Club of IT directors has long discussed the possibility of creating a kind of organization that would unite the heads of IT-companies and help us not to lose Kharkiv from IT world map. As a result, we have created Kharkiv IT Cluster. It is important to note that for the owners of IT Cluster founding companies, Kharkiv is not only a resource center, but also the native city, emotionally close to us. Our main task is to systematically develop IT ecosystem of Kharkiv City as a comfortable location for performing IT business as well as to promote it to the world, primarily to the western markets.