Valery Krasovsky, Sigma Software Group
The entrepreneur who is an expert in software and kitchenware.
You know you are talking to an entrepreneur when they have an array of interests along with the curiosity to try or start something new. Where a passionate interest in new things goes hand in hand with the ambition to immerse oneself even more in pre-existing interests. Valery Krasovsky, the CEO of Sigma Software, is exactly like that. He is also very goal-oriented.
Born and raised in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, the young Valery knew exactly what he wanted to be. His great interest in cars and engines paved the way for a future career. He was going to be a truck driver – of that he was certain. Imagine getting to drive heavy trucks with a powerful weight and load capacity all day.
Over the years, his ambition grew and Valery set his sights on becoming an automotive engineer. A plan that stuck with him for quite some time, until the mid-80s when he discovered the classic computer game Arkanoid. And when Prince of Persia came out in 1989, the automotive ideas were parked, and he knew then and there that his future professional career would revolve around computers.
“I still have a great interest in cars and engines, and I follow the F1 circus with great zeal. But when I saw the endless possibilities in computers, I knew what I wanted to work with,” says Valery about his career choice.
His journey along the road of ones and zeros started with computer science studies at Kharkiv Aerospace University where Valery graduated as a Computer System Architect in 1998. He soon started working as a C++ developer. But it didn’t take long for the entrepreneur in him to blossom. In 2002, together with five partners, he founded Eclipse Software Programming, which was the beginning of what we now know as Sigma Software. When Sigma came aboard in 2006, they had 60 employees. Today, 17 years later, they have more than 1,800 employees and are Ukraine’s leading and most reputable employer in the IT sector. An extraordinary journey where the shared belief that a well-oiled and well-assembled team can handle anything, accomplish anything, and that nothing is too difficult. It is this belief that has made them the bold, fearless, and successful company they are today.
“I was COO when we started Eclipse and remained in that position until 2014 when I became CEO,” says Valery about his current role in the company. “I probably have some Operating Officer left in me,” laughs Valery when he answers what he is like as a leader. “I’m a person who pays great attention to details, and I expect my co-workers to do the same.”
We Ukrainians have grown up with the idea that we must solve problems ourselves when they arise.
– Valery Krasovsky
He leaves plenty of room for a company culture where new ways of thinking are allowed, where unique ideas grow and are realised. “But it must also be a safe arena where you are allowed to fail, because that’s when you really learn something,” says Valery.
Another major factor in Valery and his colleagues’ success is the unique spirit that exists in Ukraine. A country that took big and fearless steps from the moment they became independent in 1991. The desire to get closer to and become part of Europe created a drive where everyone wanted to make everything better. Digitalisation was in full swing, and for Valery and other IT graduates, it was just a matter of starting to build the digital infrastructure. Government services were digitalised at a rapid pace, and there were many other countries to look to for inspiration and best practices. And now, three decades later, Ukraine is far ahead in many ways, where their modern digital tools and products are combined with the spirit of solving things yourself. Because historically, the Ukrainians have had to rely on themselves, their endurance, resilience, and their true grit, in the truest sense of the meaning.
“We Ukrainians have grown up with the idea that we must solve problems ourselves when they arise,” says Valery about the Ukrainian spirit. “We have never been able to rely on someone else, the state, or any authority to solve things for us. And the more difficult the problem, the harder we fight, as the outside world can see now that we must defend our country against invaders.”
Valery is responsible for almost 2,000 employees, located and operating in many parts of the world. It entails a great deal of responsibility, long days, and plenty travelling. But Valery also makes sure to spend time with his family, his wife and three daughters, and tries to set aside the weekend to spend extra time with them. And preferably in the kitchen where he can practise one of his great passions: cooking.
“I love to cook and, as I said, I am a person who’s attentive to the details, and when you stand there in the kitchen, there are endless opportunities to be detailed,” says Valery about his focus on detail in the kitchen.
Valery has played a large part in Sigma Software’s transition from solely providing IT resources to being a forward-thinking company with a strong product focus and dedication to the success of its customers. And in his many interests, he has accumulated knowledge, experience, and the ingredients that make him a true connoisseur and expert in software and company building as well as in Formula 1 and kitchenware.