1:00 - Growing up in the Soviet Union
10:41 - Recommendations for going international
13:53 - How and when to acquire companies
16:18 - Helping your company as a scientist
21:05 - Valuation
A scientist by training raised in the former Soviet Union, Serguei started his first business in graduate school. Then, in 2000, he founded SWsoft (later Parallels), a leading software in automation and cross-platform connections for businesses, public entities and individual customers. Parallels would later on launch Acronis, its own spin-off targeting storage and backup assistance.
Serguei's early endeavors were based in Singapore, a friendly and safe growth environment. However, the founder soon weighed his operations, and came to the conclusion that up to 40% of all transactions took place in Europe. Switzerland was a happy choice for the new corporate headquarters: according to Serguei, Switzerland is a politically stable and wealthy environment for company growth, despite the difficulties of the Swiss ecosystem in hiring foreign talent. For companies itching to go international, here are Serguei’s tips:
Study your goal-market carefully before making the big leap;
Remember that markets are often determined by geopolitical standards;
Master culturally-specific terminology. This is a big deal in deep tech: concepts and names will vary widely across the globe, so make sure you do your research.
As we write, Acronis is thriving! The company currently employs more than 1600 experienced collaborators across 33 countries, and its recent fundraising campaign raised 250M$ from CBC capital at a 2.5B$ valuation. This self-made entrepreneur has also co-authored more than 280 US technology patents while juggling many board membership positions, and he’s looking forward to seeing how machine intelligence and digital literacy progress in the upcoming years. Listen to the episode to learn more about Acronis’s story and Serguei’s personal outlook on data safety!
"It’s more difficult to hire foreign talent in Switzerland. As a global leader, it’s difficult to rely solely on the talent you can find locally while being selective.”
"What I've learned from the past is that integrating remote work could be very productive for companies."
For more content on how to make your company rock the global stage, check out our episode with Flyability’s CEO Patrick Thevoz! If you’re more in the mood for reading on data privacy concerns, have a look at our blog contribution with Monique Morrow.
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