2023 annual review: The year of financial stability and investment
Ambition. Dedication. Progress. As I take a moment to reflect on the journey we undertook in 2023 as a team, I am filled with pride and gratitude for the remarkable achievements we’ve accomplished in the face of challenges that tested our strength of character. Despite the prevailing uncertainties, our team's joint efforts resulted in growth and expansion for Vega IT.
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The past year presented formidable challenges for businesses worldwide. However, within our organization, we were able not only to endure but also to make tangible progress. As the CEO, it's gratifying to highlight the collective achievements that emphasize our resilience and strategic adaptability.
How challenging was 2023 for us? I’ll start by saying that we lost 49 clients/projects in 2023! Many of those were scale-up companies that went out of business. They were not able to get additional funding and were not generating enough revenue to be able to survive on their own. Some were profitable businesses that decided to postpone further investment in digital transformation because of the uncertainty that was surrounding them.
On the other hand, all the investments we made in the past paid off in 2023 and have helped us offset our loss. I’m talking about everything we did in the past few years to develop strong domain expertise across different industries, and about what we did to introduce new services like data science, data engineering, data analytics, DevOps, and so on. But this is not all. The huge investments we made in 2022 and 2023 in further strengthening our client success, marketing, business development, and sales teams helped us on this journey.
All the efforts of my colleagues resulted in winning new work for our existing clients and acquiring 46 new clients! This number is even more impressive if you take into account the quality of those companies. Maybe it’s enough to say that they were strong enough to be able to continue investing in digital transformation and digital products in 2023, despite the economic downturn surrounding their business.
When talking about numbers, let me share a few more with you:
- Our top 8 clients brought us almost the same revenue each in 2023.
- Revenue per client of the following 13 most significant clients (based on revenue) was at around half the revenue per client of the top 8.
- The top 21 clients generated around 50% of total revenue, and they all are bringing us recurring revenues.
- The total number of clients we were working with was higher than 130.
- Our clients come from 24 countries across the globe.
- The top 50% of our clients come from 9 different industries.
All this spread and diversification helped us to achieve financial stability and achieve growth of around 10%. That stability also helps our clients to focus on their core businesses and not have to worry about the availability of their tech partner. To be honest, our average year-on-year growth in the past 15 years was higher than 40%, but I feel free to say that achieving any growth in IT in 2023 should be considered a success.
I’ll continue by mentioning a few interesting events and happenings in 2023 around Vega IT that left the strongest impression on me.
Vega IT became an integration partner of Whitespace to support their significant scaling ambitions.
Whitespace, a part of Verisk, is a London-based technology company focused on the digital transformation of the insurance industry. It has particular expertise in digital contracts, electronic trading, claims management, pricing, and Lloyd’s members’ agents – the area that drove its first success when it started in 1985. Today it uses the very latest technologies to deliver the best possible digital insurance experiences at internet scale and with enterprise security. A key focus is the Whitespace Platform, the truly digital platform for the global (re)insurance marketplace.
In the words of Whitespace:
The partnership with Vega IT is a pivotal component of Whitespace’s strategy to expand the delivery of its integration capabilities, ensuring customers have the mechanism to implement solutions quickly.
For our company, this means more diversification and a way to further benefit from our vast domain expertise in the insurance industry.
However, we are not stopping here, and we are planning new strategic partnerships for 2024.
Collaboration with UNICEF
In 2023, we continued to help the community in which we live. One project I’m especially proud of is the first Serbian Sign Language app for kids and beginners, which we created in collaboration with UNICEF, the Belgrade Deaf Organization, and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Association of Serbia. The application was launched and presented to the public on the anniversary of the adoption of Serbian Sign Language as the mother tongue of the deaf.
In the words of UNICEF:
For UNICEF, collaborating with Vega IT as a technical partner was a significant experience. It proves that children's educational opportunities and social inclusion can be higher and more quality with innovative technological solutions and expertise. The cooperation with UNICEF, the Belgrade Deaf Organization, and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Association of Serbia is an excellent example of how cross-sector collaboration contributes to the realization of rights and equality in Serbia.
As the app co-creators, Vega IT even received a national award for this digital solution, called The Special Award for the Best Socially Responsible Application.
Celebrating a milestone: The first 15 years of Vega IT
When I look back on the first 15 years, I can say that the time flew by so fast! I did what I enjoyed doing, and most importantly, I did it together with a bunch of wonderful people.
Why do I say the first 15 years? It’s simple, because I believe that we are still at the very beginning of Vega IT – this reflects more precisely where we are right now, as a business and as the people who run it. Here I mean:
- the size of the company, and its internal structure;
- the quality of internal processes;
- the sophistication of the services and products that we bring to the global market;
- the geographical spread;
- the results we want to achieve, and the positive impact on the society we live in that we want to achieve in the years to come.
The flywheel effect at Vega IT
Moving past limits. Going somewhere new. One term that is regularly mentioned in many business books is the flywheel effect. And that term lately started to resonate with me, because often, the result of multi-year investments in a business can't be noticed until enough energy is accumulated, only then business can be pushed to bigger heights, and even further towards even greater success.
I believe that we are close to that moment and that in the years to come, with the help of the flywheel effect, we will do amazing things. We want to set a good example to young entrepreneurs, proving that, with honest, hard work and dedication, a successful global business can be built in a small country like Serbia.
Further expansion of data teams
Over the years, we recognized that our clients needed more and more help in areas of data science, data analytics, and data engineering, hence we decided to further invest in our expert data teams. We are proud of how our colleagues who deal with artificial intelligence are not only in step with the development of technologies, but as a rule, they are ready even before the market expects certain technologies from the field of artificial intelligence.
Data engineering is important for companies that have at their disposal increasing amounts of data that need to be properly transformed and processed. In order to help clients get to market faster with new products and services, we have developed (and continue to develop) various accelerators and chatbots.
Building domain expertise
Over the years, we developed strong expertise across industries. By understanding value chains, business models, and existing solutions and systems, we are able to add value by being proactive and delivering innovative thinking to our clients.
We tirelessly worked on our internal processes – to find better and more efficient ways to gather domain knowledge from industries such as FinTech, InsurTech, HealthTech, Retail, EdTech, Cybersecurity… and share it among colleagues in the company.
Our commitment to fostering a dynamic and forward-thinking identity led us to a significant investment in rebranding at the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023. To ensure a world-class transformation, we engaged the services of Koto Studio, renowned as one of the premier brand strategy companies globally. Their expertise and innovative approach have played a pivotal role in reshaping our brand narrative, providing a fresh and resonant identity that reflects our values, aspirations, and commitment to excellence. This investment underscores our dedication to staying at the forefront of industry trends and delivering a compelling brand experience to our stakeholders.
The decision to undergo a comprehensive rebranding initiative stemmed from feedback received from our clients. And let's be honest here. This wasn’t an overnight decision. We loved our old logo, the feel of our brand, and the bright orange everywhere. But it wasn't us anymore. In the 15 years, we evolved, and our branding needed to follow that.
Recognizing the strength of our company's ability to consistently underpromise and overdeliver, we understood that this practice could potentially pose a challenge for prospective clients unfamiliar with our service excellence. By collaborating with Koto Studio, we sought not only to refresh our visual identity but, more importantly, to craft a clear, memorable, and transparent brand narrative. This rebranding effort aims to bridge the communication gap, ensuring that our commitment to exceeding expectations is conveyed upfront, providing potential clients with a clear understanding of the exceptional value and service they can expect from our organization.
That’s why we dived right into the rebranding process for a few months. Elbow deep. Super passionate. Hyper focused.
The result? You have to see it by yourself: www.vegaitglobal.com
New York office
In times of major economic downturns, when most companies are freezing their investments, Vega IT has a different strategy. We are focused on business diversification and global expansion. Our first stop in 2023 was the US.
Even though we have not been physically present in the US until now, we’ve been operating in this market for years. In fact, almost 20% of Vega IT’s revenue comes from US-based companies. By establishing the New York office and hiring a team there, we aim to further capitalize on the potential of such a lucrative market.
What’s in store for Vega IT in 2024
Towards the end of 2023, we established an office in London. We decided on this move because it is our biggest market and because we wanted to provide our clients with additional value. The London office is already in operation – we have our first colleagues there and we are looking forward to further establishing our physical presence in the UK.
Another market we will focus on in 2024 is the Middle East, and we are currently in the process of establishing a company there. I hope that when I summarise the successes from 2024, I will be able to write more about this market.
To wrap it up
As we bring this retrospective journey to a close, it's not just a celebration of past victories but a strategic pause to glean insights for the road ahead. The challenges of 2023 may be behind us, but the lessons learned and the resilience demonstrated by our team will continue to guide us.
Looking ahead, we are geared for even greater accomplishments. The spirit of adaptability, the culture of innovation, and the commitment to excellence that defined us in 2023 will remain at the core of our journey.
I would like to thank my colleagues, clients, and everyone else who helped us make 2023 another successful year for Vega IT. Thank you for being part of this remarkable journey.
I wish you a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2024!
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