Albina, please can you remind our readers about when TFB started out in business and where its global offices are located?
Since 2010 we’ve attracted the smartest, most ambitious, enthusiastic, talented people in the industry. Initially just three people took ownership of both coding and selling, growing to five global offices today.
To celebrate our tenth anniversary we’re showing our appreciation to those who have contributed to TFB’s journey, before building a strategy for the future, and celebrating with our clients across all of our five offices: China, Thailand, Russia, Cyprus and the UK.
The company has grown from 3 people in one city to over 70 people in 5 offices, and this growth has been widely recognised in the industry. What’s the secret ingredient of such success?
There have been many factors, but the one that stands out is that we’ve had the right people in the right place. We’ve had tough times, of course, and there’ve been wrong decisions, but we have a core team of around 10 people who’ve grown with the company for 5-7 years, who have designed the values and established goals. TFB started on the outskirts of the industry – in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where we only had a couple of brokers. We started attending expos in 2013, and our first expo booth was in May 2014, when all of our competitors were already well-established. Language barriers, cultural differences, and market differences were all challenges for TFB.
Our first overseas office was only opened in September 2016, in Shanghai. But year-on-year TFB has become bigger, better, smarter, and more experienced. That’s why I say it’s down to teamwork – it wouldn’t be possible without the fantastic people across the offices sharing one goal.
You often mention your team and partners rather than products - isn’t the quality of the product what matters most?
Of course, the quality of the product is our top priority, however you can’t maintain this quality for a long if you don’t care about the company’s culture and internal environment. Technology needs quality people to turn it into a valuable tool. Our goal is to be the most reliable and trusted technology partner – we don’t just provide brokers with software, we’re there with support and knowledge, to help our clients be better.
TFB has gained a reputation as a custom development company and now seems to be changing. How flexible are you in helping clients to undertake more bespoke builds and to extract more value from their products?
Our reputation has been built by word of mouth, which gives it additional reliability. To be honest, in the very early years we just developed what we were asked, but we soon realised this wasn’t working, and we needed to understand the end goal. Now we ask what problem is being solved by the development, and what is the client trying to achieve?
The problem can often be solved using an existing solution, and sometimes even by the platform settings. Today we’re still flexible with that, and even our projects – like Trade Processor or Business Intelligence - can be customised, but we define with clients exactly what they’re looking for. We then create a business task before the technical task, which is a good solution for us and for clients.
You offer many developments as part of a package - what are these and what are the key benefits they deliver?
We realised in 2016 that instead of giving just a product, we could become more of a technical partner to clients. Within our package brokers not only have software, but they can also rely on our experienced 24/7 technical support, that can answer any question within 5 minutes, whether related to TFB products or not.
We often pay educational visits to teach staff to manage the platform, servers and software. This package gives brokers first and foremost to software so they can upgrade/downgrade/exchange products, and second to the experienced IT team, who have experience of what to do in any situation.
What plans do you have for rolling out new products this year and engineering new solutions to attract new clients?
All of our products complement each other, stabilise each other and make the lives of brokers easier and more efficient. Trade Processor, Business Intelligence and PAMM are the projects that have different goals, but work perfectly together to satisfy the needs of any company.
Add to this the plugins and support package and you’re fully equipped and highly-competitive. The goal for this year is to polish this combination and present to brokers how the ecosystem works.
Instead of diversifying too much we want to build a very strong core of existing products – we already have everything that brokers need.