Today we have selected Fangming Li (Kiki) to take her interview. She is the Co-Founder of axis software.
First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?
As Charles Darwin said, “Only the Fittest will Survive” However, honestly speaking, we had a relatively tough time during the initial phase of COVID-19. We Learnt. We Changed. We Adopted. Today, we are relatively back on track and gaining traction in our One Single Team and Family business. The team has been vaccinated, and our approach of Work-From-Home continues as we traverse through the New Normal of COVID-19.
Tell us about your career and how you founded or joined this company?
My corporate career started in Marketing at Tata Consultancy Services(China), a Global Leader in IT Services, Digital and Business Solutions. In a quest to explore more challenges, I moved to handle Sales in the same company. Spending a substantial part of my career in Sales and Marketing has helped me understand the market, clients, values, and the potential and opportunities in China, especially in the Digital space.
A dream and interest in starting a business, coupled with existing market potential, initiated me to form axis software China, as Co-Founder, along with my Co-Founder, Jayanta, who was also my colleague in Tata Consultancy Services. Axis software is a Software Development and Digital Consulting Company with registered offices in Tianjin, Beijing, and India.
How does your company innovate?
We innovate both from the inside as well as from the outside. Our team explores new and emerging technologies to handle future capabilities effectively and support our clients. Training has been an important component in our company’s eco-system, where we invest, motivating our employees to develop a culture of innovation. Further, we explore collaborations with Universities and Institutes to be a part of their innovation journey. As an extended arm, we also partner with companies operating in upcoming technology areas where we do not have the expertise or experience.
How the Coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Business here in China primarily works more effectively with face-to-face discussions than emails or phone calls. During the pandemic’s initial phase, we could neither visit our existing clients nor interact with new potential clients. This impacted our business to some extent. Nevertheless, this pandemic has urged us to change our way of thinking. Urged us to change our Business working Model and strategy to cope with the ongoing situation.
Adjusting and Changing our Company strategy, in a short time, under the critical unforeseen pandemic was extremely important for us to keep our market presence and be in the mind of our clients and prospects. We have started focusing more on Digital Promotion, not only for China market but also have started focusing more on the specific overseas markets as well, as we foresee a rise of Digitalization globally, from different business sectors.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons?
Yes definitely. As a business owner, taking tough calls and decisions is imperative. Though we kept our team intact and happy, we must make some difficult calls to reduce organization costs through a few essential cost-cutting initiatives, even at the micro-level. I guess no one was predicting or anticipating this pandemic and the potential impact.
As an organization, we learned that even at our organizational level, we need to be more agile enough to quickly adapt to any changing situations from a Project Management and Delivery perspective and a Financial and Risk Management perspective.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
This phase of the pandemic has changed the mindset of many. From internal face-to-face meetings, we started developing the practice of having regular Video calls using MS Teams. We also enhanced using other collaboration and Cloud-based Productivity tools. We believe more in cultivating a sense of responsibility among our employees rather than micro-management of their work.
However, since we started the concept of WFH, we also introduced certain security and access-related tools. We are making our processes more streamlined and automated as we navigate this crisis.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
We are in the IT service industry, with many players in the same field. We do not concentrate too much on competition. It is more about co-operation and collaboration that we believe in. Caring for our employees, investing in training, proximity to our clients, maintaining good relationships, delivering with quality as per our promise, and working on continuous improvement are the areas we primarily focus on. These have also helped us develop long-term relationships with our clients as we value the importance of repeat business.
Your final thoughts
As we still navigate this pandemic globally, we see an increased rise in Digitalization. We are also trying to be more agile and resilient in our approach. And we believe, and we are confident, that we will soon have an environment where the business will pick up more and flourish more with a positive economy.