With the beginning of the New Year, ICT Association launched a positive thinking article series in order to motivate and inspire the enterprises through telling a story of success each month. In the second issue, Dániel Szöllősi tells the ALLWIN story.
Innovation is true only if it returns profit
“We like to shove off the mainstream a little, and to apply the technologies of nowadays and even more of future” – the young managing director begins the company story. He has every right to be proud – ALLWIN has won several prizes recently: Innovation Award from Microsoft, The Homepage of the Year from the Hungarian Marketing Association and a mobile application development prize from a Nokia contest. “Positive regard gives extra motivation for our developers: unlike the bigger companies where technologies are always behind one or two years, at us they have the opportunity to try new things. As a result, they work with pleasure even on tough projects.”
He believes this emphasis of innovation distinguishes them from other similar companies. But – he adds – innovation only has a meaning if it returns profit. “They say that innovation is that kind of realization of improvements which makes a gain. This is the approach that leads us: we are not only applying innovations to feel good but we also immediately build them into the current projects and as a result we gain profit.”
Company establishment instead of BMW and world-wide tour
ALLWIN was launched from own assets in 2007 and is still running from cash-flow. “My co-partner, László Fülöp always wanted to have this kind of enterprise and I was open to new things and got even tired of big companies’ culture.” They started to found the company two years before its establishment by taking extra works deliberately. “Fortunately we were involved in remarkable projects and from the profit we did not purchase a BMW or a world-wide tour, but put it under our pillow and started the company”
He both agrees and disagrees with that the establishment was a brave to jump into the unknown. “Practically we had so many orders that this step seemed obvious. On the other hand, Laci was in the middle of a construction and I was just after wedding and before having a child so there were risks as well. But we believed in it and did it. And it is also very important that both of our partners supported us.”
Networking instead of monoculture
So the inceptive support and swing was given, but they also did not have to wait long for the challenges and tough decisions. “I call it monoculture farming when you have only one client and you only serve him. We were the same in the beginning: we co-operated with a consulting company but when the orders started to wane, we had to make the decision if we continue alone or if we give up. Then we took a deep breath and opened to the market.”
They had no sales experience – just like many other informatics companies – but obviously they had commercial sense. Instead of heavy marketing they based on networking and social capital. “From one hand we picked up the phone and called our acquaintances, on the other we started to attend business network events such as business breakfasts, chamber events and conferences. We are still living from acquiring new potential clients through our private relationships.”
Something always moves us forward
When I ask him about the biggest difficulties, he mentions the lack of capital. “It was a self-conscious decision that we did not want to have either a professional or a financial partner involved in our company. Sure, larger dynamic could have been gained through a capital injection, but we did not want to take the risk and loose the control. So we chose the slower growth instead.”
For a long time, the minor orders meant the biggest problem as they requested the resources but were not really worth it. Now they feel that they managed to position themselves good in serving the mid-sized and large companies and they want to follow this direction. They strategic goal for 2013 is to export their services.
When I ask if there was a moment when he wanted to get out, he hesitates for a moment as he knows that this is a positive article series – but then admits honestly: “Of course there was. But we did not want to let go the so much energy and money we invested – and this moved me forward. And meanwhile we knew what our team was capable of. We were hoping that it was only matter of steadiness to show it.”
Dániel Szöllősi, managing director of ALLWIN Informatics Ltd.
Dániel Szöllősi (1976) took a degree at Budapest University of Technology and Economics at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics as an electrical engineer in 1999. After graduation he worked as software developer, later as project manager. He also spent some years as process manager and BI service manager. In 2007, together with his co-partner they established ALLWIN Informatics Ltd. He has been the manager director since then, being responsible for customer relationships and strategy.
The original article can be read here.