For any given business in the world, the best way to retain customers is delivering quality products and services. When a business delivers a quality product or service, they deliver their promise of creating and delivering a product that not just meets client expectations, but exceeds them. And to do so they need to put efforts in all steps of creating it, with special emphasis on Quality Assurance(QA) and Testing.
For over two decades, QA Mentor has been helping various organizations’ QA departments around the world to improve their QA processes and transform them into more mature QA organizations. QA Mentor is all about mentorship, guidance, training, supporting, and providing strategic support to client organizations.
Ruslan Desyatnikov, CEO and Founder, speaks about how he built the company from scratch and is now in a quest to become the #1 leader in the QA and testing space.
Kindly brief us about your professional journey since the beginning of your career.
I started my professional Quality Assurance & Testing Career almost 23 years ago. I had a very hard time finding a job after college. All my friends with whom I graduated found jobs in very prestigious companies with very good salaries and sign-on bonuses. Some of them were accepted into programs where companies trained for 2 years straight and I was still struggling with no options. I had nothing to lose so I took the first offer I had on the table for $35,000 a year which was $25,000 less than what most people in IT received after college. I started in a New York start-up as a Junior tester where I had no idea what the job was all about, since everyone wanted to become a programmer at that time.
I was on the bottom rung of a very tall ladder that I continued to climb year after year by doing practically every single job in QA. I was an automation engineer, performance engineer, project test coordinator, and QA manager. Then I moved into progressively bigger management roles in many different organizations until I decided that I was ready to start something on my own.
Share with us the noted milestones, accomplishments of your journey along with highlighting the company’s achievements under your leadership.
QA Mentor has won more than 60 awards and recognitions around the globe. A major award was received in London at the European Software Testing Awards. QA Mentor won the most prestigious award – Leading Vendor. To us, it was the equivalent of winning a gold medal at the Olympics as competitors were very well-known multi-billion-dollar companies. Another major recognition was by Gartner who included us in the top 10 Best Pure Play Mobile Testing Providers due to our state-of-the-art labs with over 400 mobile devices and our unique mobile testing methodology.
Kindly tell us about the challenges you faced as a CEO throughout your ongoing tenure.
My current team is a dream team and making this dream come true was a huge challenge. For those of you who know me, I am not a guy who likes to sugarcoat things to say something that I don’t really mean, but the team we built at QA Mentor, which is an international team located in 8 different countries and speaks many languages, is amazing.
I handpicked and personally interviewed every single person and hired those who wanted to grow with a company, create an impact every day and make a difference, learn and continually raise the bar, and never rely solely on previous accomplishments but to instead try to win with every opportunity, every single day.
I remember a time when I had absolutely no money to pay salaries, I called a meeting and I explained the situation. I promised to pay outstanding salaries, but I also told my guys that I would not be upset if they started looking for a new job with stable salaries. It was the darkest day in my life because I did not know what to do. Not a single person left, and everyone said that they will continue without salaries until the situation improved. This is something which I will never forget. That showed that we are not just a team, but we are a family and we trust each other. It made us stronger and put us on the road to success.
What is your advice to the budding and aspiring CEOs?
You have to follow your dreams. You are in control of your own success. It is up to you to either be successful or give up at the early. It is an extremely difficult road with many bumps, obstacles, surprises, challenges and unpredictable circumstances. You must be ready for this and keep positive, move forward, and believe in yourself and your team by moving towards your goals. Sometimes you need to slow down, sometimes you might take few steps back, but it will help you to move further in the long run.
For me business is a game – a very challenging and tough game where in order to win you must give 100% and be passionate about what you do. You should never be concerned about money, wealth, and success. You should be concerned about the happiness and success of your customers and happiness of your own employees. When you have achieved that, you will be successful and a true winner.
What are future plans for you and your company? Where do you see the company in the years to come?
We have very bright future ahead of us and we will not stop with our current accomplishments. We will continue our successful acquisition strategy by acquiring young and ambitious international QA companies as we want to establish a footprint in
every single country to promote our proprietary methodologies, best practices and innovative approaches and to help local companies to achieve superior quality on their products. We will continue building more testing products and solutions similar to our QA Coverage Test Management Platform which is currently serving 384 clients around the world.
Our new product QAMometor which we are launching in Q2 of 2020, should be very successful and we aim to have every QA Department using it. We will continue to launch new interesting QA services and we will continue to stay on top of new technologies to be able to react quickly to client needs.
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