Dobromir Piekarski: We want to make a financial application of the first choice
eLeader was established 15 years ago in a quite unconventional way. At the moment, the eLeader Group with projects implemented in over 80 countries is one of the leading companies in the mobile financial sector.
eLeader was established in 2000 … in a garage in Lublin. “The history is quite unusual,” admits Dobromir Piekarski, the director of eLeader and Finanteq S.A. Dobromir and Piotr Sieczka were programming software at home, paving the way for the first mobile application in Poland and in the world. Owing to their competences, they won a SMG/KRC contract for creating an interview system. “We were informed that before signing the contract, our company would be checked and verified by SMG/KRC. At that time our company consisted of just the two of us working at our homes. We were terrified. We set up a ‘real’ company in a garage within a few days. We asked our friends to bring computers and pretend to be software developers. It was winter, so it was cold in our ‘headquarters’. When the guests from SMG/KRC arrived, we switched on light and… the fuses blew, because the wiring system had been overloaded. Now, I think that even if we didn’t do it, we would get this contract, because at that time just few people could develop mobile applications for palmtops,” explains Dobromir Piekarski. “Our fears proved unfounded then…,” he adds.
Nowadays, there are 200 people employed in the company. “We aren’t an outsourcing company, which hires software developers. At present, there are many companies which operate in this way. Hands for encoding are not used for building intellectual value in Poland. It is rather like digging with a spade for somebody from abroad, e.g. in Great Britain. The intellectual value stays there,” says Dobromir Piekarski. “We develop our products which are appreciated all over the world. We should, therefore, focus on our Polish technology instead of being cheap labour force for Europe.”
He emphasizes that current rates of software developers in Lublin are similar to those in Warsaw, and the labour market undergoes the globalisation processes. “Not that long ago many people went for work to Warsaw. Now the rates are comparable, and the living costs are significantly higher in Warsaw than in Lublin, letting alone the quality of life. There is an enormous potential for young people in Lublin. Traffic jams are actually small, so it is easy to get everywhere. I get to work in just six minutes,” says Dobromir Piekarski.
13 years ago eLeader was the first company in the world to develop the SFA solution supporting the work of mobile sellers. “We think up and develop innovative products ourselves. Approximately, every 4 years we launch a new product on the market,” says Piekarski. Currently, software developers from the other company, i.e. Finanteq work on joining markets of mobile banking, mobile payments and m-commerce. These products overlap already now. “We mean superwallets, i.e. a new generation of mobile purses which can be used for transferring money, paying for shopping, storing loyalty cards, etc. It is a combination of mobile banking and the whole world of e-commerce. Our superwallet is to help in everyday life of its user. We wish to develop one application to be used for shopping, remote purchase of concert, cinema, or bus tickets, remote payment for car parks, or ordering a meal,” explains Dobromir Piekarski. ‘We are planning to develop a financial application of the first choice for a smartphone user,” he adds.
The eLeader Group constantly thinks of the future and invests in technologies which can be successfully implemented. “Our company has been operating for 15 years and we haven’t paid any dividend yet. Everything we earn, we reinvest in business. We have already carried out projects in 80 countries. Our company is strong, so we aren’t afraid of rival companies. We are implementing a subsequent global contract now. Our people have made business trips e.g. to the US, Japan, China, Dubai, and many other destinations only in the last quarter.
Despite the fact that we aren’t a global corporation, it’s been estimated in the prestigious Gartner report that we can be one out of the five best companies in our sector,” says the Group director.
In order to be the best, eLeader is constantly looking for new employees. “We train our personnel from the very beginning. We especially look for enthusiasts and those willing to learn and constantly develop themselves. 99 per cent of our team is like that. How are we different? We aren’t contaminated by the corporate culture and we don’t take part in the rat race. We deal with difficult and complex things, so we know that rival companies will have a hard nut to crack. We aren’t an outsourcing company; we produce great and complex solutions which are difficult to be found in companies executing orders from a project to a project, i.e. flexible products. The career path of our employees doesn’t finish on the position of the so-called ‘code monkey from a cheaper country’,” says Dobromir Piekarski.
It is worth mentioning that a number of our former employees come back to us after having worked in other companies, which proves our quality.
The eLeader director emphasises that his aim is to make the Polish technology the number one in its market niches in the world.