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Bootstrapping from Ukraine: BPMOnline CEO Katherine Kostereva (Part 6)

Posted on Saturday, Aug 27th 2016

Sramana Mitra: Talk to me about organic growth versus financing. Is all the growth that you’ve achieved so far organic?

Katherine Kostereva: It’s all organic. We never took loans and we never had investors. The approach is very simple. We reinvest everything we earn into our business. Nowadays, we have 700 people on board in six offices globally. You can roughly split those 700 people into two parts. One half is R&D and technical support. The other half is marketing and sales.

Sramana Mitra: What percentage of this is in Ukraine?

Katherine Kostereva: R&D is almost 100% in Ukraine. We have several people in different locations to support our customers. It’s split for sales and marketing. For example, I work in our Boston office because I’m leading the expansion into the American market. We are heavily investing in our Australian office right now. That was quite a surprise for us because Asia-Pacific and Australian markets started to grow very fast in our portfolio. Frankly, we didn’t expect this growth.

Sramana Mitra: Which Asian market is responding particularly well?

Katherine Kostereva: We have our office in Singapore. When I’m talking about the customer base, I’m talking about Singapore and Malaysia. Number one is Australia.

Sramana Mitra: What level of revenue did you get to before you made the choice to enter the United States?

Katherine Kostereva: Dozens of millions.

Sramana Mitra: Dozens can be $60 million or $24 million.

Katherine Kostereva: We are a private company.

Sramana Mitra: That’s fine. You can give me a range.

Katherine Kostereva: When we started, it was below $50 million. When we decided to go globally, it was below $50 million.

Sramana Mitra: It sounds like you’re still following the outbound marketing strategy.

Katherine Kostereva: Not globally. That’s what I was trying to tell you. The history of the company is split into two parts. The first one is the domestic part and the other is global. Your question was how have we been growing domestically for 10 years. That was outbound. When we started to grow globally, we completely changed our strategy. Our strategy right now is completely different.

We have two vectors to penetrate the market. Our core strategic vector is partner-driven strategy. Our product is particularly good for implementation. Consulting companies who take this BPM engine can change everything in the product – any logic, any process. It’s a platform. It’s 100% customizable by the partner’s analyst. They take the product. They go to the company and they earn quite a lot from professional services. Our product is very good for distribution through system integrators. We do account-based marketing in relation to those integrators. The full list of the integrators that we are targeting is close to 3,000 companies. At a given period of time, we target just 100 companies.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Bootstrapping from Ukraine: BPMOnline CEO Katherine Kostereva
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