Dmitry Dolgorukov, Co-Founder and CRO at HES FinTech, tells us how they deliver complete lending software for banks, credit bureaus, financials, and alternative lenders.
Tell us about yourself, your career, and how you founded HES FinTech.
Dmitry Dolgorukov: Having a degree in economics, I was dreaming about an academic career in my early twenties. At the same time, I was searching for opportunities to use my skills and knowledge in business, so I started marketing strategy development for an aspiring software company. The company demonstrated rapid growth, and I was happy to be a part of it.
At the same time, my graduation from CIM (The Chartered Institute of Marketing) provided me with enough courage and inspiration to launch HES FinTech with my business partner in 2012.
We focused on fintech software development. As we celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary this year with almost 100 employees and 160+ projects all over the globe, I can say that it was a successful decision to start all that.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Dmitry Dolgorukov: I developed a habit of sharing my gratitude to people in quite a detailed manner, and I exercise it daily.
It makes a feelable impact on your personal and professional life: for many managers, it may seem that they provide enough feedback, but they may miss the fact that 90% of their feedback is made of neutral comments, corrections, or questions. Being generous (yet well-timed) and specific with appraisal gradually makes a big difference.
How does HES FinTech market its product/services online?
Dmitry Dolgorukov: I guess, for software vendors, digital marketing is one of the basic channels for boosting sales. We are a hybrid (product/service) company. HES FinTech delivers custom fintech software development, mostly for lending automation. Additionally, the company delivers two out-of-the-box products: HES LoanBox – a readymade digital lending platform, and GiniMachine – a no-code AI-based platform for decision making.
The approaches to marketing that we use differ for products and services. However, we work on gaining both inbound and outbound marketing, organic, and paid traffic. Our goal is to work on every stage of the marketing funnel: build awareness, educate and engage, and finally persuade the business customer with strong facts helping them to make a rational and data-based decision to work with HES FinTech.
According to our brand positioning, we are more than software vendors. HES FinTech is a full-fledged technology partner with vast experience in the fintech domain, dozens of successfully completed projects, and a talented team ready to share valuable business insights.
For example, 80% of our Business Analysts have a professional background in large banks. It gives them a critical understanding of the customer’s business processes and provides value-added services.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Dmitry Dolgorukov: As for the management skills, I prefer to hire experts and let them do their work free from micromanagement or things like that. Having a marketing background in the past, I stay on the same wavelength with the team; however, sometimes, I’m getting surprised by the rapid dynamics in the digital marketing industry.
As for the software and tools are not extraordinary: Confluence for document storage, Jira for task management, Slack for communication, Google Analytics for making data-driven marketing decisions, and HubSpot for optimizing the marketing and sales processes.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Dmitry Dolgorukov: The HR department follows the industry standards in hiring: thorough screening, detailed yet stress-free interviewing, and referral bonuses for current employees. We work hard to make the onboarding process as smooth as possible. We are large enough to have well-designed policies developed. At the same time, we are under 100 employees, so it allows the team members to address C-level management with their questions or suggestions directly in Slack anytime.
Each department has its own onboarding materials, newcomers get a mentor, and the HR team makes the adaptation process as comfortable as possible. Retention is another important aspect of our business: the HR team encourages the team to leave feedback and creates all possible opportunities for that. We conduct one-to-one interviews and informative annual reviews and build up a compensation system that goes beyond salaries.
How are you funding your growth?
Dmitry Dolgorukov: HES FinTech has been bootstrapped, and back then, it was a successful solution that allowed us to grow faster by making timely decisions. At the same time, we have several growth scenarios for the future. Let’s get back to the question in a few years:)
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Dmitry Dolgorukov: The lending services market is so versatile that few companies are our 100% competitors. For sure, we have overlapping with dozens of market players worldwide, but our expertise and a unique proposition (a combo of products and services) allow us to stay successful.
At the same time, HES follows the wisdom shared by one of the Lewis Carroll characters: “My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”
We steadily grow our investment in marketing because it demonstrates effectiveness. For example, we have tripled our budgets in the past few years. In 2022, we launched a new product: HES LoanBox it helps us scale up our business due to covering more market segments and getting more freedom compared to the service-based approach.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Dmitry Dolgorukov: It would be difficult to choose. For me, it is equally fascinating to be a part of a large bank’s success and automate lending in a startup that has just overgrown Excel.
I can tell a success story of a company that started a micro-lending business in Europe and then powered it up with the HES lending platform. After that, it demonstrated a 400% growth in a few years. I can tell you about our project for Wa’ed – Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center that greatly impacts the Saudi business community. I may also say a few words about our projects in Africa that add up to inclusive lending. I’d love to, but I cannot share any of our large-scale projects in Canada because of the NDA. Some of our case studies are available at hesfintech.com.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Dmitry Dolgorukov: I share some of the company’s news, great fintech events, and comments on the industry trends on my LinkedIn profile. So you are welcome to contact me there with any questions or suggestions. And subscribe to my company’s blog updates: to HES FinTech and GiniMachine