In a year in which we officially stepped out of the Covid 19 pandemic, the world faces other serious economic challenges. The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has affected almost all economical spheres, most of the countries struggle with a slowdown and inflation higher than in decades. The current macroeconomic situation shows the slowest growth since 2001, with the exception of the financial crisis and the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Making positive business results and improving quality was a challenge in all industries but we managed to reach important milestones in 2022.
New people joined our company, we started cooperation with new clients, expanded to new industies and we obtained valuable certificates. We also improved our HR, marketing, and sales processes.
Founder & CEO Ivan Rajković: "At the end of every year, before we start planning our next strategies, we like to look back and see what was it that we did well in the previous one, and what could be improved in the next one. In our industry, the Q4 results are usally delayed well into Q1 of the following year, and can strongly impact the overall view of the previous year’s results.
I consulted my entire management team because I wanted to see the situation from their point of view. As a result, we created this comprehensive article that looks at our previous year and what we plan for the future."
One of the most important goals we achieved was definitely obtaining ISO 9001:2015 and 27001:2013 certificates by TÜV AUSTRIA for the quality and safety of information. Clearly set frameworks and controlled processes make us noticeable in the IT market, and these certificates are another proof of the quality of our services. Setting up processes in different sectors and strengthening existing ones resulted in getting ISO certificates but also brought intern reorganization where various teams were affected.
In 2022, we consolidated the changes in our organizational structure and roles in the company. As our COO Petko MIlidragović said:
Big organizational changes were implemented without seriously affecting the employees and clients. All people shared the burden of these changes. For me, that is the biggest success-we have the right people in the right places.
We advanced in setting up and expanding different processes, from software development to HR processes. When it comes to the HR department, in 2022, we formed a new team and it showed good results. Our Head of People Operations, Branko Vukovac, emphasizes the efforts of the entire HR team:
Everything we did resulted in an increase in the number of employees, new projects, and a high retention rate (85%) which is the best indicator of our work quality in the last year. People have chosen to stay with us, and some new people have decided to join our company.
The marketing team changed the strategy and it soon showed the results. The most crucial improvement came through an increased presence on social networks, creating the content strategy, and a focused sales strategy. Our brand awareness increased in the IT community. We improved improved our business intelligence and market segmentation. When it comes to the sales department, we have further developed our sales processes, defined and diversified our sales channels, and worked on a more targeted, account-based sales.
For our Chief Knowledge Officer, Boris Šijan, the development of KAM (Key Account Management) and consolidation of ETC (Efficient Team Culture) are among the most important goals we have achieved in the previous year. With ETC we have defined the most important aspects and best practices for good team culture at Enlight. This way, we can make sure that every team gets and stays in the performing phase as fast and as long as possible.
We recognized deficiencies and created a solid base that we can grow on in 2023.
In people development, we established new processes, implemented successful internal projects, and started cooperation with the Faculty of Technical Sciences of Novi Sad through the first edition of our joint industry-faculty cooperation program – FAROS. We have also defined the ideal engineer profile (from the perspective of technical, analytical and organization competencies), to further align it with the market needs. For our Chief Engineer, Slobodan Gaćaš, when it comes to effective team culture, the work with Team Leads was intensified as they had more responsibility and clearly specified roles.
The lingering effects of Covid 19 pandemic marked the previous year. Covid 19 didn’t affect our business significantly, since we are a nearshoring company and we are accustomed to working online with clients in different countries.
It significantly affected the feeling of community and teamwork, which is an important part of our work culture. Before the pandemic, our feeling of fellowship was strong since we often gathered and spent time together. Now, good portion of our employees work from home, and we need to find new ways to reinforce this feeling of community. The pandemic was challenging but it showed us the way to organize workflow differently to benefit both the employer and the employee.
Our strategy of long-term partnerships proved to be useful. We were present in different industries and developed new sales capacities, which were the main factors that helped us go through this recession stage relatively safely. For our CFO & Head of KAM, Danijela Milićević, the global recession which constantly changes its form and influence was our biggest external challenge. Also, finding new clients and employees in such a highly competitive field as the IT industry, was more difficult than in normal circumstances.
Controlled growth and development, together with organizational changes, were the most significant internal challenges. We succeeded in upscaling the company to the next level, in an organic way, by preserving our work culture. With new people and new roles, we managed to reorganize key sectors, welcome new members and reorganize our HR team, define the processes in different domains and apply them. Our clients didn’t notice the complexity of these internal changes and it didn’t affect them.
When we speak about 2023. the focus will be on growth. We look forward to working with new clients and employing new people. The development will continue, it will be only oriented toward the outside. Further development of the sales process and better defining of what we have to offer are our priorities.
In the next year, one of our main goals is to strengthen the brand of Enlight as an employer. Our aim is to expand the company and hire 20 new people, so It is important to establish the processes for development of organizational conditions. We plan a series of external and internal research processes so that we have defined a clear idea of what we need to improve organization vise.
Vuk Stanivuković, our CMO, emphasizes further development of sales, KAM, and marketing sectors. In his words:
Our goals for the next year are to enhance our local and international brand, get a deeper understanding of the key markets (commercial, labor and financial) and shorten the sales cycle through better channel diversification and focus on market penetration.
We will work on leadership development and soft skills on the company level, to lead the company in a quality way and to communicate with clients more efficiently. We also plan further optimization of the processes.
n 2023, the world may be edging toward a global recession due to constant hikes in interest rates because of inflation, the economic slowdown of the countries that are the main engines of growth. We are constantly following all changes and challenges in the work environment.
How to prepare and respond to these circumstances that will affect our industry?
The preparation process for unforeseen situations, as well as risk management, is something we do continuously and permanently. It is our task to have controlled adjustments in business in order to properly respond to the needs of all our clients.
We plan to focus on markets and industries that are more resistant to the upcoming crisis. Developing an information system about the key markets in order to understand them better, as well as researching the competition, will enable us to make timely decisions.
The main task will be to minimize the risk by informing, tracking, and adjusting business, processes, and goals, with strategically based and controlled growth. We want to be informed about both the commercial and the labor markets and to check regularly if we go in the right direction, according to our strategy and current global conditions.
We recognized the most important risks and opportunities, and strategically prepared for them. We invest in our people and system of work, and we expect that this strategy of growth and development get us through the crisis that will impact everyone in the market.