The company formerly known as Gfi Poland. October 2020 turned out to be a time of substantial changes. We talked to INETUM POLAND representatives about rebranding, entering a new era, and operating during Covid.
On your website we can find information that after 10 years the Gfi Group has decided to change its name and identity to signal its entry into a new era. What do you understand by the term new era?
Marek Pokorski*: I think we are all experiencing how much the world around us is changing. The coronavirus pandemic has significantly affected our daily lives, not to mention the environmental changes or the amount of data we work with on a daily basis. As a company we are technologically advanced, at the same time we see how quickly our customers are making changes. For Gfi the last 3 years have been a period of very rapid growth, with turnover increasing from 1 to 2.3 billion Euros – both organic and acquisition based. The name and new logo are meant to embody the new identity of the group and what it has become – a global IT service provider.
At INETUM we define reality as “post digital”. We are a company that defines its mission as helping businesses benefit from digital transformation. This transformation has already been fulfilling itself for many years. Now it is accelerating. We aim to be the partner that allows you to take full advantage of this transformation, to open up new business areas as well as to re-examine existing ones.
The rebranding will still take some time. This is not surprising when you look at the fact that we have nearly 30,000 employees in 26 countries. The transformation will take time, but the goal is clear: We want to operate only under the new brand from January 2021.
This year marks 10 years of operation under the Gfi brand … I am sure that a lot has happened, but in a telegraphic summary, what has this decade been like for the company?
Marek: Joining such an exceptional group was a very good step for us. It allowed us to develop further. The decision was related to attracting investors. There was no shortage of those willing to invest in our company, but our growth generated an increase in risk. We needed support from someone who would bet on us and allow us to spread our wings even further. This is how we met the Gfi Group. The moment we joined was also a “shot in the arm”, as Gfi was in a moment of great growth and promising investments. The company has its roots in France, but over time it has become an international, thriving company. Today, more than 60% of its turnover is generated abroad. Our contribution to the company’s success is also noticeable. We have all worked hard to double the value of the company. This is quite a success and a confirmation that there is still a lot ahead of us.
The Gfi Group consists of companies located in 26 countries. How do the Polish branches compare to other countries?
Marek: From the very beginning we wanted to compete on the global markets with the very high skills of our Polish IT specialists. On the surface, it may seem that labor costs are our advantage – this is not true.
We have excellent IT specialists who successfully implement complex projects. History shows that our advantage is the innovation of our employees and their commitment to work. I can confidently say that Polish specialists stand out against the background of Europe. I must also stress that they are diverse within the country. It all depends on their specialization.
One of the basic goals in our company is for our employees to be able to continuously develop with us. Not only professionally, but also personally. Our country is an innovation and design “hub”. This is where we implement the largest and most forward-looking projects.
Arkadiusz Borek**: I think a good complement to these words will be the example of the Lublin branch, where we specialise in developing two systems: Cumulocity – Internet of Things (IoT), and kdprevent – a system to prevent “money laundering”. These are two main projects implemented in Lublin although we are keen to create interdisciplinary or cross-location teams.
Now let’s talk about your customers…
Marek: Our beginnings are related to the financial sector. It was mainly banks, not only Polish but also foreign banks. In retrospect, our focus has broadened strongly towards the industry. More and more often we also serve high-tech companies. As an example, I can give you our client who manufactures engines in the aviation industry. We also work for many automotive companies. We are establishing cooperation with companies involved in the Internet of Things. These include energy companies related to the construction of wind farms. So our spectrum of activities is wide. What unites our clients is the use of advanced technologies and willingness to work with modern tools and design techniques.
Our motto is “Customer for Life”. We have an internal process that measures customer satisfaction. Our average score is consistently above 5 on a scale of 1 to 6. This and the fact that most organizations start working with us and continue for many years shows that we work well together.
How did the coronavirus pandemic affect the functioning of your company?
Agata Wudarczyk***: We work almost 100% remotely on a daily basis. Almost, because we still have our offices open and support teams working in them. I think we can safely say that we have managed to function in a pandemic. This was confirmed by a recent conversation I had with one of our employees, who thanked us for the fact that we had taken such a responsible approach to the restrictions imposed and did not underestimate the threat. This is not an isolated case. I often hear that employees are happy with the way the company operates.
As far as projects are concerned, they are certainly not decreasing on the contrary, they are increasing. We are constantly recruiting new employees for our offices. The recruitment itself is also done online. This was not a novelty in our case, because previously we also recruited remotely. In many aspects of our business, online solutions have been around for a long time so now we just use our knowledge and share it with others. As a representative of the IT industry, we were able to find our feet very quickly in the new reality. Our customers (but also job applicants) appreciate this.
One of the very important missions in your company is social responsibility. Do you often undertake CSR activities?
Agata: Social responsibility is not only our mission, but also a value in our company which we place great emphasis on. It is a responsibility not only for ourselves and our colleagues, but also for the environment and society. For many years we have been successfully implementing a project called ECOMANIA. We care about the environment and share this knowledge with our employees. This year, all our projects have been transferred to the online world.
Another project is implemented periodically during the holidays. As a company, we announce a collection of money, which we then donate to a selected organization. This year, we decided to help the Lublin Territorial Organization. We know very well how much our help is needed by the elderly. During an epidemic, this is particularly important. That is why, at the beginning of December, we opened a special bank account to which everyone can transfer money. We also successfully organize online fairs and auctions of products, most of which were created or manufactured by our employees (eco cosmetics, paintings, honey from our apiary, Christmas decorations and others). To date we have already managed to collect over 10 thousand zlotys, which is a very good result indeed. Every year the management of INETUM doubles the money collected by its employees, so in total the account of the Territorial Association in Lublin will receive PLN 20,000.
This is great information, thank you very much for deciding to support the Lublin this year. Staying on the topic of Lublin, how do you perceive our city?
Arkadiusz: The city of Lublin has changed recently. The presence of the Lublin IT Centre means that competition on the market is increasing. This is, despite appearances, a very good thing! Lublin is gathering better and better specialists, who are either just finishing their studies or are coming here afterward. We are growing stronger in the IT market, which allows us to implement innovative projects.
The border between Warsaw and Lublin is blurring. More and more people are choosing to return to our city or to work remotely. Nevertheless, employees from our region stand out because they are loyal to the company. They prefer long-term cooperation and like to “grow” within one company, which allows both sides to develop.
* Marek Pokorski, Head of Inetum Polska
** Arkadiusz Borek, Head of Service Delivery
***Agata Wudarczyk, Head of Human Resources
Published on Lublin Gospodarczy, January 2021