Today we have selected Javier Minsky to take his interview. He is CEO at Virtualmind.
First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?
Fortunately, I am confident to say we are doing great. Besides the fact that the past 18 months have been surrounded by uncertainty due to the pandemic, we could deal with the difficulties and use the adversities in our favor to strengthen our business. We are happy to say we could continue working remotely, which allowed us to grow a lot as a company.
We added many Virtualminders from different LATAM countries to our team, and we are now almost 150! Virtuality is a challenge, of course, but at the same time, it lets us achieve a very strong union with our collaborators. We could say we are more connected than ever.
With that being said, we are constantly looking for new challenges, and we were determined not to stop because of COVID-19. So, in August 2020, we decided to apply for Great Place to Work®’s Certification for the first time. Was it risky? However, we believe that we are where we are now, thanks to that bold move. We are proud to say we certified as a Great Place to Work® for the second year in a row, which certainly makes me as proud as one can be.
To sum things up, we would be lying if we say COVID-19 times weren’t difficult. But the trick is to channel the negative aspects into great energy and turn challenges into opportunities and positive outcomes. And for that, I have each Virtualminder to thank for.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company?
I am a Systems engineer whose passion is software development.
Before founding Virtualmind, I had the opportunity to develop software for some important companies in Argentina, which helped me gain a lot of experience in the IT industry.
Almost 16 years ago, I founded Virtualmind to develop innovative software for the world and work on challenging projects using cutting-edge technologies.
I’m proud to say Virtualmind has grown into a successful company that now has nearly 150 Virtualminders from all over LATAM, ready to ramp up any project and help boost our partners’ businesses!
How does your company innovate?
I believe Virtualmind’s slogan sums it up in an excellent way: we code success together! Understanding the core values and the importance of teamwork is one of the keys to our success. We don’t provide our partners with solutions but with caring and long-lasting relationships instead. We dive into every project with all of our enthusiasm, sharing our clients’ goals and beliefs while working alongside them to deliver the best positive outcome.
Our goal is always to be one step ahead. We understand that learning plays an essential role in this. That’s why both our engineers and our staff team members are constantly training themselves with our Training and Certifications Program, for instance!
At Virtualmind, we consider caring is important when it comes to keeping our teams motivated. For this reason, we have an entire team dedicated to that. People Care is in charge of our company’s climate and culture. They put all of their efforts into providing us with the best benefits and activities and making sure every Virtualminder feels comfortable and thinks like they are in the right place.
How the Coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
As stated in our name, we have always been (at least a part of us) a ‘virtual company. Since we have always worked with US clients, we were familiar with working virtually, which is advantageous. As we all know, the pandemic presents many struggles in terms of traveling. This is very discouraging, as Fernando, our COO, and part of the team were used to visiting our clients a minimum of two times a year as part of customer care.
However, we are determined not to let this get in the way of our great relationship with our partners. We are 100% committed to making sure, every day, that they know that we are present and ready to help whenever they need us.
On the other hand, although we had some developers located in LATAM before, lockdown allowed us to boost this. Today, we can say that more than half of our collaborators are located outside Argentina. This was very important to us since it let us grow our teams in an unthinkable way in a very short period.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
It was not an easy decision to leave the job I had at that time (which was a very good one, by the way) to bet on Virtualmind with all the risks it implied. But, I decided to trust my skills and intuition and do what I knew I wanted to do. Today, almost 16 years later, I can confirm I made the right call. I wouldn’t imagine my life without Virtualmind; I’m glad I went for it.
I’ve learned several things along the way. This may sound like a cliché, but one of the many things I learned is that perseverance, constancy, and the will to improve are three things you cannot leave behind when aiming to succeed. Without leaving aside the fact that working as a team always leads to better and richer results.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
We could say that Trello is a lifesaver, especially for our Staff areas, as it helps us keep order and stay updated on what everyone is working on. Trust is an important part of our company. Therefore we try not to generate so much micromanagement, and tools like Trello help us do so in a great way by staying connected even if we are not in the same (physical) workplace.
Thanks to Slack, our teams communicate effectively, and we can all stay in touch, no matter what team we belong to or where we are located. Another tool we use a lot is Google Workspace… Well, we all know what a giant Google is. The feature we value the most about it is that we’re able to edit and manage files in real-time, working collaboratively, from wherever we are.
And we can’t forget about Happeo, the place where Virtualmind’s information is centralized. There, we can find anything: from benefits, onboarding information, and our training and certifications program to activities shared by each other, among other things.
Nowadays, more tools are being developed, and we are constantly keeping an eye on them! As I said before, we aim to be one step ahead. And we mean it.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
At Virtualmind, we consider our clients to be one of our top priorities. We like to be aware and attentive to what they may need. We like to partner with inspiring clients and help them boost their incredible businesses. Working on uplifting projects is what keeps us motivated and pushes us to become better and better! So, in a few words, we could say our clients are the ones who encourage us to find innovative ways to stay ahead in the game!
Your final thoughts
We’ve managed to find creative and innovative ways of dealing with the challenges that come along with the pandemic. And to conclude, I would like to highlight how motivated and focused we intend to continue to grow! We are driven by the eagerness to keep improving to become the greatest place to work.
Since we decided to partner with clients with the most inspiring purposes, we are excited and thrilled to find out what projects await us!
Thank you for your time and letting me share (a little bit at least) about our world: Virtualmind!
- Spokesperson: Javier Minsky
- Company: Virtualmind
- Website link: https://www.virtualmind.com/