So here we are, at the end of the year that was all but what majority of us see as a regular year.
To all of us who thought that China was far away, and that Coronavirus will not get here, the Bergamo case hit us like a boomerang. What represented a shock at the beginning became a way of living representing the popularized syntagm “the new normal”. Overnight we started smiling with our eyes only, scared, having half of our face covered with masks. We faced lockdowns, waiting in lines for the supermarket, sudden increased demand for yeast and toilet paper (I personally still don’t understand WHY), quarantines, disinfectant turning commodity, etc. “You’re on mute” became the opening phrase of every online meeting, as we all became little square formations on Zoom and Teams.
What a silly year. Maybe the worst one ever.
Or maybe not.
I guess the worst and best are the matter of perspective.
1. New clients, new opportunities
A buzzword of the year was Digital transformation. Technology has proven once again that it is inevitable part of every business and that, to stay on top of the game, one needs to stay at the forefront of technology trends. Pretty much every business out there made an inherent decision whether they are in or out. This year, this decision had to be made over night. To stay in, you must fish or cut bait- and that means accelerating your business through application of new technologies. This is where we, Serengeti, come in the game, as we represent a piece of the puzzle in digital transformation. Our knowledge, our references and most of all- our attitude guaranteed 8 new clients. Yes, 8 new references on our show-off list of clients on our web, 8 new different industries, 8 new opportunities for scale and growth in this new normal situation. How did they happen? It was a blend of focus, customer understanding, persistence, flexibility creating a base for great sales approach.
2. Our clients love us. And there is a physical proof of it.
The best reward is to be recognized by our clients. Our worth to our clients was proven by 4 Clutch awards. First Clutch award we received this year was in the Top 5 Croatian B2B Company category. The remaining three awards that were received at the beginning of last month are from the categories of Top 1000 companies in the world, Top 100 fast growing, and Top 100 companies of sustainable growth. Clutch, as an independent platform for ranking business companies, awards its prizes based on reviews given to them directly by clients. There are other impartial criteria such as income, annual growth rate and absolute income growth rate.
3. Business steady as a rock
Stability was a latent aim this year. Unexpected became the new expected as we gracefully walked through the year with small wish lists including open bars and restaurants. New clients meant more stability for Serengeti as we dispersed our business on several different fronts and stopped being dependable on one or two big clients.
This is a very good thing for us and the business in the long run.
4. Financial results were great considering the situation
Comparing this year to 2019 and looking at mathematics, our results were 3% less versus a year before. But taking into consideration the whole sudden situation we were all in together, we can say that the results were just great. We are happy with the results. It is a good base for moving forward.
5. We worked our comparative advantage.
It was a tough and strange year for sure. We had big plans, but we ran into a buzz saw. This unexpected situation gave us the time to sit and reflect and find the best in the worst. We reformatted our strategic goals and objectives and crystalized what we are the best in. We used this time off to define our specializations, our comparative advantage, to recreate a new path to intensive growth in the future. Let say that we consider 2020 as a bat out, and a preparation for another phase, the one where we are moving fast forward our well-defined goal.
The world we work in is changing faster than ever. Traditional expectations of compromise on price and quality are shattered throughout our society. I recently ordered some products online. They were at my doorstep before I expected.
We ordered dinner at home from an outstanding restaurant in Zagreb. True, it was not served on a fine china as if we were sitting at a restaurant, but it was still identical in quality and taste to the dinner we would get in the restaurant.
This is a world where Serengeti works and succeeds in it! We have accepted and advocated the concept of "No Compromise" when it comes to approach to our customers. In other words, we put the focus on uncompromising delivery quality and customer relationship.
Serengeti is one of the leading software development companies in Croatia in terms of number of employees and revenue. More than ever, we have taken a bite out of the Western European market and justified our position. In 2021, we have a plan to continue to grow in Western Europe, but also to do a bold approach towards a new market, the one of North America.
Today, we are in a better position than ever to gain market share by continuing to build on our “no compromise” approach - providing quality service and advice, offering transparent and low prices, and using our scale for efficient and profitable.
As we move into 2021 and strive to further grow and develop, we plan to act on our path with several clear priorities:
- Ensure that we continue to build customer trust by making every decision "through the eyes of the customer"
- Optimize earning power while investing in our customers and our people
- Invest in business in the long run, with an emphasis on growth, infrastructure, and risk management.
More than anything, we have a strong plan to appreciate and enjoy every moment and to laugh more. 2020 has taught us that we need to really Carpe diem, with no compromise. This will be our guide for the year ahead. With this said, we wish you all joyful holidays and happy and prosperous new year!