Unlike a great many businesses around the globe, well-established outsourcing companies haven’t been affected by the global coronavirus pandemic. While numerous private and public enterprises are still adapting to remote work, others that already grasped the subtle details of working remotely a few years ago are happy to see their results grow. As such, Baltic Assist is not an exception. Founded as a start-up in 2015, it has quickly transformed into a successful business that today has over 500 clients from Europe, the United States, and even Hong Kong.
The failed interview turned into a business
Andžej Rynkevič, the co-founder and CEO of Baltic Assist, first discovered the term ‘virtual assistant’ in 2014. Around that time, a private investor from Denmark Per Moller was looking for someone who could assist him with the investment-related tasks in Lithuania. The position of a virtual assistant with flexible working hours and an opportunity to work from home caught A. Rynkevič‘s attention, and he decided to go for an interview. However, his candidacy didn‘t meet the expectations of the Danish investor.
Nonetheless, the future businessman was still interested in the idea of outsourcing. After a couple of weeks, he contacted P. Moller, introduced him to his plans to start a company offering remote accounting services, and finally invited the Dane to be his very first client.
‘I really hoped I could get the first business client so I prepared a presentation about the concept, the initial and later stages of growth. Instead of a positive answer, I received an offer on his side to invest in the new company. So that’s how it all began. Like a romantic story, I might say’ – A. Rynkevič recounts the origins of Baltic Assist.
Baltic Assist has been growing steadily since the very beginning, with overall turnover exceeding 100 % every year. A. Rynkevič explains that it was flexibility towards the ever-changing market conditions that were key to building a stable business model.
‘We constantly observed the market, the behavior of our current or potential clients and that of our rivals, and we kept adjusting both the services and pricing. Eventually, this led to the creation of a sustainable business model which now provides us with a strong competitive advantage in our target market.’
It goes without saying that the company has faced various challenges in the course of its development, such as insufficient brand recognition from a customer point of view. According to A. Rynkevič, in the pursuit of high-quality customer care, Baltic Assist has been particularly attentive to their client’s needs from the very start, hence acquiring a worldwide reputation as an impeccable service provider.
‘It helped us create an image, which undoubtedly began to spread by means of word-to-mouth marketing,’ adds the CEO.
Attractive company culture
The Baltic Assist team comprises a variety of professionals – from virtual accountants and financial experts to customer success managers. In the first year, there were fewer than 10 employees, but today the company counts almost 150 virtual assistants.
While the global coronavirus pandemic has become a headache for many businesses, a typical day at work hasn’t changed for the Baltic Assist staff.
‘We’ve been working remotely since 2015, so we didn’t have to put any extra effort to adapt,’ says A. Rynkevič.
The employees there have benefited from the remote work opportunity for a long time. Some of them work from home constantly while others keep a weekly balance, for example, two days in the office and three days at home. Furthermore, the virtual nature of work at Baltic Assist means it is not limited by the borders of the Republic of Lithuania – the members of staff have the freedom to perform their tasks while also enjoying the sun in Spain or Greece. The only must is a good internet connection.
Besides, interpersonal relationships inside the company are based on transparency, allowing both the management and the employees to trust each other.
‘Other enterprises, especially big corporations, apply strict procedures. For instance, if you want to advance from an entry-level position to a higher one, you will be expected to have spent at least one and a half years at that level. Of course, at Baltic Assist we also have some rules, however, if the person is capable and motivated, we allow and encourage them to use their full potential, leaving bureaucratic measures aside,’ argues A. Rynkevič.
He is convinced that the prevailing culture of meritocracy inside the company is not only the major benefit of working there but also the main reason which makes Baltic Assist stand out among other market players.