It’s time to celebrate! On June 28th, 28software is marking its 4th anniversary, and we couldn’t be more excited. It’s been quite a journey, with its fair share of challenges, but we’ve faced them head-on and come out stronger. To honor this special moment, we sat down with Michael Antonovich, the founder, CEO, and visionary behind 28software, for an exclusive interview.
Let’s explore his perspectives and learn more about the story of 28software, the challenges faced and victories achieved along the way.
— This week is 28software’s 4th anniversary. What are your thoughts on the company’s journey so far?
Michael: Looking back at what has already been accomplished in the company during this time, four years seem like a significant period of time. This period has been very intense and a lot has been achieved. But when I think about the horizons that have opened up before us now, when I think about the future, I understand that four years is just a drop in the ocean. And the plans for the future are much greater than what we have already accomplished. The journey has only just begun!
— What would you consider to be the most significant achievement of this journey so far?
Michael: I believe that our most notable accomplishment is building a cohesive and synergistic team. We started in a small room without windows in one of the Kyiv coworking spots doing basically everything by ourselves: creating texts for the company website and adding images to it, buying notebooks and other equipment, sending messages to prospective customers via LinkedIn and filing tax forms. We are now at the place where all these tasks and many others are handled by professional staff that surround all the company employees with fantastic comfort at our amazing offices. We have people we can rely on, who are truly invested in the company, who run side by side with us, not behind us. This sense of unity and reliability is our most valuable asset and something we can proudly celebrate and be thankful for.
— What was the initial spark and inspiration that led you to establish your IT-outstaffing company?
Michael: I have extensive experience of over 15 years in leading global companies, where I played a key role in forming and managing developer teams. I had the privilege of immersing myself in various practices, business cultures, and strategies for building successful companies, teams, and relationships with clients and partners. The accumulation of these experiences formed a vivid vision in my mind that I simply couldn’t ignore. I have been thrilled with the idea that seemed to be worth pursuing on a broader scale, driving me to explore new opportunities and expand my horizons. And so this is how 28software has been born on 28 of June 2019.
— And what goal did you set for yourself when embarking on this journey?
Michael: The goal was to build a business that would bring true enjoyment to both – our teams and partners. I wanted to create an environment that was easy, transparent, fast, flexible and trust based. My vision was to create a space where people loved their work, where clients could fulfill their potential, and where working with us would take all stakeholders further than going alone. From the moment where we had to rely on ourselves and take responsibility for ourselves and others, without depending on anyone else, and all the way until today when we already function as a quite a large structure, I see this vision being perfected with every day.
— Do you think you have succeeded in achieving these goals?
Michael: Absolutely! We have enabled our partner and the teams to work freely and effortlessly, coming together to build something special and unique. We take care of operational tasks, so they can focus on what really matters to their products.
We offer an invisible presence – we’re always there, always open, always ready to help, yet we remain unseen. We don’t burden anyone with excessive bureaucracy or complicated processes that can be overwhelming for the teams and partners.
— But it is something that all outstaffing providers do, isn’t it?
Michael: Yes, that’s true. And I must say that when we began we realized that the competition was huge. But we knew that we could do better and we did.
The thing is, I’m a stickler for details, both in life and in business. So we genuinely care about every request and even wish from our partners. Our approach is simple: the moment they have a thought, we’ve already made it a reality. Their idea materializes the moment it crosses their mind.
— So, the secret ingredient is being super fast?
Michael: Exactly! Compared to other companies, who tend to be slower with longer processes, we’ve found the right skilled experts and set up a workflow that lets us deliver results much quicker than our competitors. This is a big win for us – we’re able to maintain high-quality services while being lightning-fast. We can put together a highly skilled and efficient team in just a few weeks!
— 28software also positions itself as a premium provider that offers top-quality services at a budget-friendly price. How is that even possible? We all know premium services usually come with a higher cost.
Michael: We don’t associate the term “premium” with high bills. Instead, we connect it with the years of experience I personally and our experts have accumulated, which we, as a company, invest in our services. This experience comes from working with various clients from different countries, cultures, and companies of different sizes and values.
For us, premium goes hand in hand with maturity. It’s about the quality of our services, but at fair prices. We don’t support the idea of making all the money in the world from a single client. Our services are priced significantly lower than our competitors. We believe that they should cost this much, and not more. “Be responsible. Get premium”, that’s our motto. I always tell partners that I’m more interested in building long-term growth together rather than engaging in short-term collaborations. That’s why 100%, I emphasize, 100% of our clients are in long-term, strong relationships with us.
— How does 28software manages to keep prices affordable?
Michael: Currently, we have a presence in three locations – Poland, Ukraine, and Portugal. The labor costs in these locations are significantly lower compared to the United States, Canada, Israel, and even many other European countries such as Germany, France, or the Netherlands. However, the expertise level of our experts remains exceptionally high. So we offer a perfect match of expertise level and its cost.
— Speaking about Ukraine… Given the difficult and potentially dangerous situation in the region, how does the company ensure the safety of your operations and partners’ teams in Ukraine?
Michael: When the war began, things were uncertain and fragile. We have faced tough times, both as a company and as a nation. We are extremely grateful to our partners who have stood by us and believed in us during this period. They can attest that nothing has changed for them and we as a company have delivered the very same level of service as always.
Now, more than a year since the full-scale invasion, we can assure you that our office in Kyiv is well-protected while maintaining the same level of comfort. Being in the capital city, it receives strong security measures from the state authorities, ensuring the safety of our operations and the well-being of our team.
We continue to grow, innovate, and achieve remarkable results together. And as a proud Ukrainian, I take great pride in our people and our company for staying strong.
— It’s not the first troubled time 28software is dealing with, right?
Michael: You’re right. 28software were established in 2019, just before the coronavirus pandemic. People were stuck at home, unsure about what to do. Our clients didn’t know where to find high skilled professionals, and job seekers were afraid to make changes.
It was a tough situation for us as a few months old company, but it also became a valuable learning experience. We adapted and found our own unique approach to navigate through the difficulties. Our ability to act fast and efficiently played a vital role in our growth during this time. We started with just five team members, and within a year, we expanded to 11. The following year, we reached 44, then 100, and now we’re approaching 180. Despite the challenging circumstances, we kept growing and defying the odds.
— Looking ahead, what are some exciting plans or goals that 28software has for the future?
Michael: Well… I don’t want to delve into the specific plans until we have realized them, but I can say that one of our main objectives is to expand our presence to new locations. We aim to offer our clients a broader geographic diversity, providing them with more options, opportunities, and even stronger chances to find the perfect fit for their product teams and studios. We have already witnessed how different locations can vary in terms of pricing, mentality, and technological clusters. By opening new locations, we can get access to a larger pool of experts and better meet our clients’ growing or changing requirements.
It is also important for us to remain lightweight, transparent, fast, and truly reliable. As we grow, we’re making sure we don’t lose our spirit. We’re working on setting up our processes in a way that can assist this growth while keeping things smooth and speedy. We wanna stay true to our core values and to keep our services premium and budget-friendly.