Balint, you joined Vicoland in February 2023. How has your time been so far?
Starting at Vicoland has been an incredibly positive experience, I have really enjoyed my time so far. One of the most rewarding aspects has been getting to know my colleagues – a motivated and innovative team that gives me great energy.
Why did you choose Vicoland?
After five successful years at a PropTech startup, I had actually planned to take some time off and travel the world. But then I was fascinated by the idea of Virtual Companies (Vicos) and Vicoland. So I jumped right into the opportunity to become part of such an innovative company. I joined Vicoland after only a week’s break. My expectations have been fully met: Once again, I am working here for a small startup that can scale globally. My skills and knowledge fit very well with Vicoland’s current development phase.
You are Entrepreneur in Residence at Vicoland. What tasks are associated with that?
I primarily work on the product team and am responsible for addressing scalability challenges in various areas of the business. This involves addressing various product-specific issues. These include, for example, understanding the key needs of our clients in procuring professional services and finding ways to form teams of freelancers into high-performing Virtual Companies, or Vicos.
Can you describe a specific project?
One particularly exciting topic was the complete rebuild of our data analytics infrastructure. The goal was to enable team members to take responsibility for their individual data pipelines. This was a very exciting challenge that enabled data analytics across product and business development teams. Early signs of success are already visible, and I strongly believe that this newly revised structure will create long-term value for Vicoland. It makes it possible to better understand our data – and therefore our customers and users.
What new topics are on your agenda for the current year?
There are two major projects. The first is the optimization of our payment functions to enable our customers and Vicos to make smooth payments via the platform. This project is business critical as our proprietary payment infrastructure is an essential part of the product offering. The process should work effortlessly in the background and remain virtually invisible to both clients and freelancers.
The second major project I will be focusing on is improving our customer care and service quality. This is mainly about delivering better quality compared to our competitors, and doing it cheaper and faster. This will affect both the demand side, the customers, and the supply side, the freelancers. First, we need to understand exactly what our customers need. Based on this, we find entrepreneurial freelancers to start their own Vicos or join existing Vicos. They are then given the appropriate tools to deliver outstanding services.
What is your long-term vision for the platform? Where do you see Vicoland in five years?
I think Vicoland is in its most exciting phase as a startup. We have a well-functioning product, convinced customers and excellent Vicos on the platform. On top of that, we have an excellent team that makes all of this possible. In short, we have everything in place to scale Vicoland far beyond where it is today. As a result, I believe Vicoland will play a significant role in the professional services industry in five years. It will be competing with large, traditional professional services firms for the most exciting projects worldwide.
What is your personal background? You studied in Budapest and then did your master’s in London.
Exactly. First I studied electrical power engineering at Budapest University of Technology as part of my bachelor’s degree, a very interesting subject. Then I decided to do my master’s at UCL in London in technology management. It increasingly appealed to me to develop technology projects from a strategic and management-oriented perspective.
What then led you to join two startups? You could have worked as an engineer.
I also enjoyed my time as an engineer. But I realized that my greatest talent is not in the technical aspects of engineering, but in management and problem solving. I’m more interested in that, too. So I decided to study technology management at UCL in London. It was an inspiring experience. I met a lot of great people who had a big impact on me both personally and professionally.
Before I had even finished my studies at UCL, I joined the PropTech startup I mentioned earlier. It was about the same size then as Vicoland is today. In my five years there, it became a global success. During the expansion phase, I had the opportunity to lead some of the most challenging projects, build a global team and optimize the business. I learned a lot about how to scale a startup globally.
What do you appreciate most about working at Vicoland?
Vicoland combines three things that are particularly important to me: Team, Innovation and Ambition. We have a great team working on a common vision and fully committed to achieving it. Vicos are truly a significant innovation, bringing a breath of fresh air to an old and sluggish industry. Not only that, but Vicoland has the ambition to completely redefine the professional services industry. I’m excited about the future.