Eastsource: Helping Businesses To Oursource In Eastern Europe

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Bozhidar Bahov, CEO & founder at Eastsource, built his startup to demonstrate that outsourcing can be done in Eastern Europe rather than Asia or India. Here's how this idea benefits both, young & established companies:

Eastsource: Helping Businesses To Oursource In Eastern EuropeDescribe Eastsource in 50 words or less.

Eastsource makes it easier than ever for companies to outsource and manage their software projects. Our main activity is IT outsourcing matchmaking through our wide network of development partners in Eastern Europe. We prepare our clients for the outsourcing journey and help them with every aspect of the software life cycle.

How did you discover the need for your services? What problem are you solving?

I worked as a developer in Eastern Europe for several years where I built a wide network of software professionals. During this period I saw how outsourcing companies are struggling to market their services. When I moved to the Netherlands and started leading projects I noticed that business people have a hard time translating their needs into technical requirements. Furthermore executives of small and medium enterprises are afraid to outsource because they have no idea how to manage remote workers. When they talk about outsourcing they immediately think about India or China. Most of them don’t even consider Eastern European countries which have only one hour time difference, EU working culture, high quality standards and cheap prices. I also found out that even technical people are hesitant to outsource because of the difficulties to manage the communication and work. So it turned out that both sides want to connect but don’t know how reach each other. I decided to act.

At Eastsource we help our clients to understand exactly what they need and what would be realistic to outsource. Afterwards we match them with an outsourcing partner and establish the communication. Once the project starts, we are always there to assist with project management and release strategies. To companies not interested in outsourcing we can help with requirements gathering, software architecture, release management and digital transformation.

Why do you work with Eastern European companies? Why not Indian or Chinese?

We work with Eastern European developing companies not only because of our connections there. When it comes to outsourcing there are four things to consider. I like to call them the 4 Cs:

  1. Closeness – Eastern Europe is still Europe. Flights are fast and cheap and there is only one hour time difference which helps a lot with managing day to day work.
  2. Culture – There is a familiar EU working culture and atmosphere. The high quality standards and data protection rules apply there as well.
  3. Capabilities – There are established traditions within the industry and education in these countries. In the general case a Master in Computer Science takes around six years in Eastern Europe. In comparison many Indian and Chinese developers complete half-year-long courses before starting to work.
  4. Costs – Although more expensive than Asian outsourcing destinations, the hourly rates of developers in Eastern Europe are between two and three times cheaper than those in Western Europe.

In what ways do you measure your success and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

We measure our success in completed projects and their quality. Software projects are notoriously difficult to manage and plan. It is our responsibility to prepare our clients and guide them throughout the development process. If in the end the project is successful then we did our job. And before you ask, a project is successful when both the client and the developing company are happy with the end results.

Eastsource: Helping Businesses To Oursource In Eastern Europe

With ferocious competition and a booming trend to build new companies: How do you make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle?

We spend a lot of energy into researching our target group and its needs. In order to deliver high quality services we need to be ahead of the market and comply with best practices.

As to competition, every startup and new company can become our client. I can’t think of any type of company that cannot benefit from IT. And developing companies are not our competitors but our potential partners. Even if they are searching for projects themselves we still help their business grow by connecting them to valuable clients. It’s a win-win situation.

7 years from now: How did your startup change the world?

In seven years we will have the biggest outsourcing matchmaking platform in Europe with thousands of realized projects. It will be the go-to place for startups and SMEs to search for developing partners. For software companies it will be the number one platform for finding clients in Western Europe. We might also expand to the USA market. When a client registers there will be different steps to go through to prepare and to be matched with the right team of developers. Personalized couching will also be available. It will be as easy to outsource your software project as it is to buy groceries.

Bootstrapped or financed: What fuels your startup now and what will in the future?

At the moment Eastsource is fully bootstrapped. We want to grow organically through finding clients and completing projects. Being a consultancy company, we don’t really need huge investments to operate. We might need some capital to build the big platform that will lead the industry in 7 years but with a little bit of luck we will be able to do it without external investments.

What were the biggest challenges you faced building your startup?

The biggest challenge so far is also my favorite part. When I started I had to learn a lot about regulations, accounting, finance, marketing and sales. Especially time consuming was to understand the tax system and all its rules. As I said, however, this has been extremely beneficial. I can say that starting my own business has thought me so many things it is like studying in university again. A lot more practical though. 🙂

What was your most memorable moment so far?

There were so many great moments so far that it is hard to choose one. The first impressions on our site, the first social media likes and shares, all these were amazing. If I have to choose one though, I would say the first request I received from a client. I was on a small vacation and I was checking my email through the phone when I saw the message. It was so exciting and satisfactory to see that people are starting to notice us and are interested in our services.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

I have two things to say:

First is – be realistic. Don’t expect your business to skyrocket overnight and to build the new Facebook. An amazing amount of people believe they can do it. And fail. So start small and be realistic.

The second things is – just start. Start today! Don’t delay or wait for something special to happen. Start at the right moment when your motivation is high enough and don’t kill it with doubts. Otherwise you risk to lose it all. I am not saying to rush it. Prepare yourself about anything, try and be careful, but start. Small steps are better than no steps.



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