Exclusive Interview with Ihor Prokopenko – Co-Founder & CEO Fulcrum
In this exclusive interview, He shared his experiences in IT and several more things. Let’s check his success story and thoughts.
1. Tell Us about yourself how you start your career in IT Sector?
My career in IT actually started at the university since it was my field of study. And that’s when I became related to the IT sector.
Then, I founded my first startup Studego, a service for students. Later, I decided to focus on outsourcing, and together with my partners, we founded Fulcrum Rocks.
2. Tell us in brief about your company and the leadership.
We are a one-stop-shop product development company Fulcrum Rocks from Kyiv, Ukraine. We have 60+ professionals on board who have done 20+ successful projects with ~1M users worldwide.
We cover the full cycle of product development from building its vision to its support after release.
3. What is your outlook for 2021?
2021 will be full of exciting events and new challenges. But for business, challenges mean also new opportunities. I know the one thing for sure – 2021 will be changeable, so what we really need is to be flexible, quickly adapt to new circumstances, follow trends & always look for arising opportunities.
4. How do you assess the role of research agencies like TopappFirms in bridging the gap between clients and service providers?
I see their role in helping both clients & service providers build long-term and reliable partnerships. For clients – they offer qualitative & trusted vendors which service has been proved on numerous successful projects.
For providers – they offer a chance to showcase their expertise, find new customers more quickly & easily, and create a foundation for equal partnership in the future.
5. Any particular technology or industry you would be targeting? How do you plan to prepare your workforce for the upcoming technology upgrade?
Technology upgrade is speeding up, and recent events like Covid-19 are becoming its accelerators. So, it’s quite crucial to catch this ‘wind of change’. What I think is that lots of existing industries will arise with a new power in the near future.
I also believe we should pay special attention to edtech & healthcare. Obviously, the healthcare industry has been booming under the Covid-19 pressure. Also, under the new conditions, edtech is appeared to be one of the most relevant & topical directions to focus on.
6. What all services do you think you would add to your offerings in 2021?
Actually, we’ve already started to grow our expertise in UX & Product Discovery. Why? User experience appears to be super crucial for a product’s success. I believe that development expertise should go along with great knowledge of UX.
We’re also stressing the great value of Product Discovery and building the true Vision. Our main goal is not just to deliver a working app, but to create a product that will be loved by users & will be market-fit. Without proper Discovery & UX expertise, it’s impossible to achieve.
7. What are the challenges you see in the outsourcing industry and how much you’re prepared to face those challenges?
The outsourcing market is super flooded with new companies, vendors & experts appearing on its arena every day. Yet, the problem is the quality of service the new vendors provide & chances to verify it beforehand.
We’re having more and more clients who had unpleasant outsourcing experience in the past. So, as one of the challenges, I see earning clients’ trust back.
8. How helpful are the Web and mobile apps developed by your team, for enhancing your clients’ business?
We don’t call ourselves a software development company, but a product development one. It means that we are focusing not on just delivering but on bringing success to our clients. We care about customers of our customers. Slick & well-functioning web and mobile apps are just the way to help our clients prosper.
9. What according to you are the best practices to attain client satisfaction?
The best practice is client-centricity & providing quality services. If you care about clients’ products like your own, it will bring only positive results. And that’s what any customer wants.
10. Tell me about your successful projects?
Not boasting, but we have lots of them at Fulcrum. To not distinguish a particular one, I will just tell you about our last case – a digital platform to connect students & young professionals with the great companies which we created for Belgian startup Launch.
Why do I consider it successful? Because even in its beta stage the startup managed to sign contracts with first big clients.
11. How do you help your clients in choosing the right yet profitable platform for Web development?
We have a great team of BAs and tech experts who, first of all, identify the business needs of our clients & offer them solutions that will match their needs the best.
We can give some advice about their business model, the platform they are planning to use, or app’s functionality, etc.
12. What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2021 after COVID 19?
The price range is super wide, cause we’ve introduced some quick, yet efficient package services like UX audit or code review. Their price actually starts from $3,000. At the same time, we have $100,000+ projects.
13. Please describe the operational structure of your company- from the moment a client walks in, to the product deployment.
The first interaction clients have with Fulcrum is taken care of by our business development team. When the details are settled & the contract is signed the Delivery department (including designers, BAs, PMs, QAs, and developers, of course) takes up the project.
Still, every project has its account-manager from the BD team all the way till release. At this stage, our legal & finance department can also get in touch with the client.
14. After service is a necessary part of development. How do you provide customer support to your client?
After the product is released & the client doesn’t require to add any new features to the product, we can provide a support service.
During support, we make small regular changes to the project in response to the user feedback, platform updates, or force-major events.
15. Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
It’s difficult to choose only one best option since everything depends on the business needs your product has. Remember, there are no bad solutions, only solutions that are suitable for this or that case.