After a great experience at MIT Bootcamp that she told for AdHugger here and here, Georgiana Dragomir had a new perspective over Grapefruit’s business and what it needs to get changed and evolved in order for the digital agency to grow and blossom. A strategy that so far proved to be very successful. AdHugger met with Grapefruit’s Managing Director and talked about all the novelties of this year, both from a HR and a business perspective.
AdH: How has your MIT Bootcamp impacted the decisions you take at Grapefruit?
After Bootcamp, the system for decision-making was radically changed. I started looking at every situation from more than one perspective and I started treating opportunities differently, both when accepting a new client/project and when refusing a potential collaboration. Looking back on the amazing results we have had this past year, I can safely say that the impact has been a positive one and that my experience at Bootcamp was beneficial and constructive.
AdH: How did the employees embrace the new changes?
In general, people may object to changes, and we did encounter situations where some would not understand the reasoning behind a decision, but, in time, we learned to come together. We communicated amongst ourselves often, we organized meetings and workshops with the whole team and I explained with a great amount of detail why I was making certain decisions. Now it has become second nature; for example, we have a pre-scoring system regarding our potential clients, and our colleagues can figure out themselves whether a client meets the requirements or not. There are obviously areas where transparency is not yet at the required standards, but the whole team is constantly working to improve this and, in time, we will achieve complete clarity.
AdH: How are the Iasi and the Bucharest offices collaborating? (what are their attributions?)
Grapefruit was founded in Iasi in 1999, which is why our main office is here in the city. The Bucharest office completes our team, and the colleagues there have the same attributions. They have the same responsibilities, with the same job descriptions – it’s only the location that is different. It is true that in the past, Grapefruit would have wanted its New Business team to be based in Bucharest. However, in the past two years, we have come to realize that we are still proactive and able to sign for new projects even from Iasi, because some of us are in Bucharest at least once a week.
AdH: How has the agency changed since the business’ reorientation in 2016?
I have come to the realization that a company can function more efficiently once it knows itself extremely well and is able to choose in which direction to go, without compromise. We are much more focused on what we want to do and we carefully analyze our opportunities, which is why our service and internal engagement rates have had a spectacular growth. At the same time, we have stopped chasing rabbits and we can see the results both financially and from the positive feedback we receive from our clients – as well as from the team’s vibe.
AdH: How was 2017 so far for the business? (new clients, main changes)
We have grown in any possible way, from our turnover to creating a new department.
Our turnover figures from August are equal to our overall 2016 and we are expecting a growth of at least 30%. So far, we have signed with four new clients from different fields, such as FMCG, Banking and E-commerce (Garanti Bank, Maggi, Globalworth) and we are waiting to hear from two new clients that would be vital for our strategy.
And we have grown in numbers, too, as our team is made up from 25 Grapefruiteers, when last year we were only 17. And because our clients want us to offer them integrated digital services, we have created a new Social Media department, which will allow us to deliver a complete digital experience.
AdH: What are this year’s projects that you are most proud of and why?
This year we have launched several projects, but we are extremely proud of our latest – www.qreator.ro.
It is a brand-new concept for Romania when it comes to online platforms, and it has brought on a fresh new vibe for all creative industries, as it is the online representation of the Qreator space by IQOS. This online and offline space will be supporting the creative communities and allowing them access to an innovative space, a place where great creative energies can come together and can collaborate to bring new ideas and projects to life.
AdH: What are the agency’s domains of expertise at this point?
We have not changed our direction and we offer the same services we have been offering for the past years (Digital Strategy, UX/UI Design, Content Strategy, Development, Mobile Apps). The only things that changed this year are our new Social Media department and the fact that we are working on our own digital product.
AdH: Do you also have regional clients and projects that you are working for?
For now, we work only with Romanian clients, but we are also planning to extend abroad in the following years. There is no strategy for this, but it is something we will keep in mind once we start thinking about how to work with the foreign market, starting with 2019.
AdH: Are you also looking to hire more people? On what positions and what are the requirements?
We are growing every day and yes, we are looking for new colleagues. We have in mind to cover three more positions by the end of the year, which have yet to be announced: Delivery Performance Manager, Front-End Developer and Lead Technic. Once we know what the job descriptions for these should sound like, we will publish the job adverts.
AdH: How hard is it to find the right people?
Right people in the right seats. This is one of our annual objectives, and it is crucial for us. Recruitment has been easier in the past year, as we received a lot of valuable CVs. But, as you already know, our recruitment process is a complex one, and there are many candidates that don’t make it past the first two steps in our seven-step-program. Overall, this year it has been a lot easier to find people with the same views as Grapefruit and who have the experience we are looking for.