Bpm’online, the global business software company serving the business process automation and CRM markets, has been on a fast growth trajectory under the leadership of Katherine Kostereva, Chief Executive and Managing Partner. Thanks to Kostereva, the software company has grown from a five-person startup back in 2002 to a formidable player in the business process automation and CRM software market.
One of the reasons for bpm’online’s success: the soft skills of candidates perceived as every bit important as their hard skills. Even if a candidate ticks off all the boxes from a technical standpoint, if they lack commitment to self-development, integrity and critical thinking, the company moves on to the next candidate. “We value our corporate culture and invest in finding the right people that fit our culture,” Kostereva said in an interview with The Saas Report after being named one of the top 50 SaaS CEOs for 2018. She is also recognized as one of the most influential women in the software industry.
To foster that commitment and passion, Kostereva has created a collaborative environment at Bpm’online in which the company encourages knowledge sharing, self-development, and transparency throughout the organization. This approach accelerates productivity and collaboration and enables teams to work together to achieve joint goals. Kostereva believes that shared values, a clear understanding of long-term objectives and a transparent work environment are key drivers that inspire employees to always do their best. Leaders who realize that every employee in every role directly contributes to the prosperity and growth of the company are the ones that will be successful. She also thinks the executives who are successful are the ones that embrace change rather than run from it. “You have to be strong, decisive and flexible as a CEO,” Kostereva said. “You should learn to quickly adapt to change, which is a new normal now, and at the same time remain confident in your strategy and ambitious about your goals.”
The executive pointed to the CRM market as an example. When bpm’online entered the market with a team of five it was already highly competitive. Armed with a clear vision and a superior product with strong competitive differentiators, the company was able to hit the ground running and never look back. It wasn’t always easy but today it has thousands of customers and counts hundreds of partners across the globe.
“The customer should be your #1 priority,” she said. “Every CEO has to keep in mind that the company shouldn’t sell products, it should sell value. We at bpm’online are obsessed with customer success, and making sure that the customer gets what they are looking for.”