Pentalog celebrated its 20th birthday in November 2013.
We’ve invested 6 times in different startups, enabled 40 of our employees to become shareholders and appointed 2 Pentaloguians as CTOs (Chief Technology Officers) of the startups we financially support; so I couldn’t help but ask myself if Pentalog still represents an adventure worth living.
To start with, what is the relationship between the 1993 Pentaloguian adventure and the 2014 one? Have we managed to preserve the grain of folly that animated us at the very beginning? The 5 first Pentaloguians were convinced they held the truth about both the bing bang and the virginal conception of Jesus. They used to sleep at the office, work in any conditions, 18 hours per day, 7 days a week and without being paid. We ate together, dreamed together, and partied together. We even planned to own a castle someday! What is left nowadays of all our origins, of what represented our core values and made us a passionate, yet a human group? Are they still a part of the 2014 Pentaloguian’s universe?
Am I Pentalog or not?
We’ve always chosen our managers from among our young colleagues. By doing so, we’ve made sure that they stay closely connected to both the organizational structure and the next generations. All these mostly young guys have thus preserved the festive orientation of the beginning. For instance, the Pentastock festival, which marked 10 years of Pentalog Romania and 5 years of Pentalog Moldova in 2010 are a living proof in this respect (see the Pentalog locations).
Our organization favors the internal structure rather than the recruitment of external resources, as well as spontaneous meetings over seminars because it relies on a strong corporate culture that is 100% self-produced, which has nothing to do with HRD artificial techniques or boring late night team buildings.
Still, I have to admit that some employees already shaped by larger corporations sometimes find it hard to adapt to our values of technical excellence, client-oriented approach and self-achievement. They wrongly see this as a flagrant infringement of their privacy, although it has nothing to do with this. We don’t seek to work our employees more than in other companies but to help them attain their maximum potential and express their real personalities. This is a completely different thing! After all, those who are not comfortable with this situation are always free to leave.
Furthermore, this is the gist of the slogan we launched at the end of 2013 – “I am Pentalog”. A company can only build up its future based on individual wills and forge its identity at the crossroad of the provoked economic and commercial events, social rules and the possibility left for individuals to create a self-production culture.
My immodest conclusion to this reasoning is that it’s worth being a Pentaloguian, although this expression might seem shocking on an offer-driven labor market.
After all, why build a solid group identity if not to go on an adventure together?
This is our intention in 2014: propose to all those interested a personal adventure accomplished within the Group. The steady growth rate registered over the last 20 years has continuously fueled the ambitions of our best and most loyal employees: all our Delivery Center Managers have been appointed before they were 30 years old! The deputy CEO, CFOs, COO, the infrastructure manager, the web marketing manager, and the Pentalog Institute manager are all Romanians or Moldovans, and they each had their chance. More often than not, this is not the case of the majority of the foreign companies set up in Romania. Furthermore, a significant capital share, which is worth more than €2M, has been transferred to thirty Moldovan and Romanian employees in appreciation of their loyalty and thereby reinforcing their status of Pentalog entrepreneurs.
We are the Marco Polo of the IT world, warm-blooded and open minded Venetians!
Now the adventure also consists in allowing all our collaborators join international projects. Except giant publicly traded companies, how many IT services companies have invoiced clients from the U.S.A., France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Romania, the Republic of Moldova, Singapore, the UK, Poland, Belgium and Hong Kong in 2013? With the help of ten full-time professors we support the continuous learning of French, German, Korean and the continuous improvement of English communication skills.
We really think that the economic adventure of the 21th century will be built in full respect for other cultures and languages. Speaking (only) English is yesterday! If we take a look around and see what happens in China, Brazil, Vietnam or Japan, we would realize that Marco Polo is still alive. He’s now travelling with Google maps, runs his business from a smartphone and takes care of every country’s culture! He is culturally responsive. He is Pentalog!
In fact, in 2013 only, 186 Pentaloguians took a professional trip abroad to most diverse locations, 49 of whom took 2 trips.
Being an adventurer also means to develop as an individual!
Our dear Andra joined Pentalog when she was 17 years old only to further become shareholder of a company she co-owns. She is the CPO of the People Centric’s IT department, the software and testing platform sold in the US, France, Poland and Romania. I also refer here to Raluca and Eric, Pentalog and People Centric shareholders. In fact, there are in total 40 Pentalog and People Centric employees who co-own their company.
Pentalabbs also proposes new adventures!
Pentalabbs comes to offer new breakthroughs and exceptional opportunities to some of the best-performing Pentaloguians. This is brand new and I have only two names to mention here. Alex Arapan from Chisinau has joined Rue de la Paye, in which Pentalog has invested, directly as its technical director. His chances of becoming a shareholder are real! The company has already registered a sales figure of €1.5M, developing at a fast pace thanks to the intervention of the Pentalog’s strategic consultants. In a few weeks’ time, Irinel Matei will be, in his turn, the technical director of MarketScience in the trading field.
I think we have this Rock culture in our DNA. It nevertheless doesn’t let us make any compromises: we belong here and we have extremely well-defined professional requirements. All those who know how this business works have noticed, for Romania in particular, the weak recruitment level of most IT services companies, which are ready to do anything in order to justify the invoicing of the working hours to their clients. These companies thus excessively overload their senior and confirmed developers hired to compensate the errors made by beginners.
I am sure that we often lose, in our turn, valuable employees to whom we don’t know how to explain our way of living and goals. Come what may, we have to preserve our values as they are the only way we can put forward to our employees this unique, elitist and renewed professional offer related to: geography, culture, techno novelty, capital sharing, access to the best startups and large world groups. This is the cost a company must pay in order to remain a land of adventures even 20 years after its creation!
See other articles by Frédéric Lasnier