Alexey Ermakov is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Alexey provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of Aximetria and PayReverse. Alexey Ermakov joins other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team has recently awarded Aximetria with our Impact Company of 2019 award. We are delighted to have Alexey join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview, and our popular “speed round” as well.
Alexey, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview about your company, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
1. What is the “elevator pitch” for Aximetria?
Aximetria developed a Swiss-level next-generation personal finance mobile service for everyone, including unbanked and underbanked people anywhere in the world. PayReverse is a white label marketing platform.
The first startup that I created – PayReverse is a white-label cashback platform that offers a unique service to allow each smartphone user to actually monetize on his or her own advertising traffic. With the help of PayReverse, users while searching on Google for something particular, receive offers for goods and services, which enable them to save up to 30% of the cost.
I came up with the idea for my second startup – the next-gen finance app Aximetria for everyone when I ran into difficulties of opening an account in a foreign bank and then pay huge commissions. So, Aximetria is a response to the injustice that banks and financial companies dictate to us when ordinary people need financial services.
2. What is the key to your company’s success?
The key to success is to create something that changes the world for the better. Everything that surrounds us is created by humans, which means that if you want to create something, then you can start doing it yourself with your own hands to materialize it, to “feel” the idea. Much can be understood already in the first steps of the process – whether you want to devote yourself to this, and if you want to inspire other people with your idea.
Since my early school years, I have shown an interest in engineering, and the ability to create new, original solutions that can change the world for the better. So, right after the graduation, I first worked in a large IT company – Russia’s largest mobile operator where I was developing anti-fraud systems and GEO-analytical services, and then I created several of my own solutions.
3. Many of our readers are just starting to build a company. What advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
The best advice would be to create a team of like-minded people and this does not mean just people who simply “support” you in everything. It is about creating a certain chemistry in your team, which ultimately makes you stronger together.
4. In today’s fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
Natural observation is my innate quality, which, together with the ability to generalize and highlight what’s most important, allow me to be productive. I also like to study and constantly develop myself. These are the qualities that allow me to be an entrepreneur and observe the latest trends, developments and market needs.
5. For other entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
It seems that there are no easy ways to success. In difficult situations, when you have to make a choice between something, always choose the most valuable thing for yourself, something which having not done — you will feel sorry in the future.
Innovation is hard work, you literally try to create something that does not exist. There is no manual, no templates, no business models that can be copied — you are on your own. It‘s only you and your imagination.
6. How important is the commitment to client satisfaction at Aximetria, and how do you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
People turn to you for a beautiful and interesting idea, for hoping to discover something new for themselves, but stay with you because your product or service turned out to be convenient. Therefore, the quality of service and customer satisfaction is one of the most important criteria for business success. And vice versa, no matter how cool your idea is, bad implementation will sink everything.
Very often, you are faced with a situation where you have to choose between fast development and high-quality development, and it is not always easy to find a compromise on this issue. By choosing quality, you end up with a huge return as a result of the customer satisfaction.
Because I develop very sophisticated and technologically advanced products, I have developed to always evaluate the software components’ autonomy. It is a kind of criterion that determines the ability of a software product to work without support from team members. The ideal value of such a criterion is infinity, i.e. that at the component design stage and its implementation, all potential scenarios and modes of operation were provided and tested, and the component’s functionality coincides exactly with its requirements.
7. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning, and how do you keep yourself at peak performance to lead Aximetria ?
It’s a complicated, almost a philosophical question, but the answer to it is quite simple: I want it, it interests me and I know I’m the only one who can do it for people who are interested in other areas of life because Aximetria and PayReverse are the best every-day solutions for them.
8. When communicating with your staff, can you tell us the most important thing you do so that they are able to carry out the objectives that you set forth at Aximetria?
My team is also people who are passionate about what they are doing. It is very important to always convey to them your ideas, but, of course, it is equally important to also accept their point of view.
9. Can you explain what leadership means to you?
I believe that leadership consists of three things: leadership of knowledge, leadership of authority, leadership of trust. Anyone who wants to be a leader purposefully or unwittingly develops these qualities in themselves. If you are in a team, it’s good enough for you to combine these qualities with other leaders in the team. People around you see you as a leader, if you can take care of them and do what they cannot do themselves.
We would like to have some fun and do a “speed round” with you! We will ask you ten more questions that we want you to answer in just one to three words only.
Here you go!
1. In three words or less, what makes a successful CEO?
A successful CEO is one who is able to fulfill and realize ambitious promises that she or he made.
2. Describe your business in one word?
Better than expected
3. Describe your customers in one word?
Open to new, better experiences
4. What does one employee need to do?
Honesty, the ability to admit mistakes and learn.
5. What is the one word you want your customers to say about your company?
Better than any Swiss bank
6. In three words or less, describe your passion?
I love sports and competitions – academic rowing, in particular. I love to test myself and take risks.
7. In three words or less, describe what it takes to be successful?
Believe in yourself. You are successful not for something concrete that you do, but by what you believe you can do.
8. In three words or less, describe your business in Aximetria?
You sell your promises: you had to promise sometimes the impossible and to do it, according to what you already promised.
9. In three words or less, describe how running a successful company has changed you?
You become more interesting to people.
10. What is the one word that you believe has the most power in the English language?
Alexey Ermakov, thank you so much for sitting down with us for our DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We very much appreciate the time you spent helping our readers learn more about what it takes to be a leader. We wish you, your family, and of course Aximetria and PayReverse, nothing but the best.