Today we will meet Aleksandar – creator of Silos software and an excellent programmer. His primary company in which he does all of the aforementioned is MP Solutions (a web design, programming and online business solutions company), a company he founded.
SW: Hello Saša! How are you? Could you please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a bit more about your startup.
AS: Hi, my name is Aleksandar Sabo, I’m electronics major with a temporary employment in the ICT sector. I’ve been a professional programmer for more than 15 years. I’ve worked on many interesting and challenging projects from a very wide spectre of different fields – industrial electronics, sports (kayaking), project management and WordPress websites, rose planting… Currently, I am focused on the development of the Silos program, which is a specialised software for the process of buying mercantile goods. This software is specifically aimed at the buyers of raw agricultural products, i.e. mills, agricultural cooperatives, and companies that trade agricultural products. The software helps them optimize their business and makes their buyout, accounting and shipping logistics more efficient.
SW: Why have you decided to create a technology startup in the field of agriculture? Is there any space for B2B software in this industry?
The story started back in 2011. My sister got a job as an accountant in the local agricultural cooperative in Neuzina that summer. When I got home for the holidays, I barely saw her, because she was working 10 to 12-hour shifts due to the amount of work involved in accounting for the buyouts. I wanted to help her to find a suitable solution to speed up her work and get all the necessary information about the bought goods in one place. Since we were unable to find a suitable tool, I’ve decided to create it myself, and Silos was born. Three years later, in the summer of 2014, my sister managed to finish all the work she had with mercantile goods buyout processes and to do all the accounting for doubled number of cooperants. She managed to do all this work in just seven work days while working normal shifts. She also managed to do her other regular work as a chief accountant during the same period. Silos helped her accomplish all of that.
This situation helped me realise that many people have the same problem as my sister. It was clear that there is a place in the market for my software, so I started creating a business around it.
SW: Tell us a little more about your team. How many of you are there and what is your focus?
AS: The Silos team have five members. We have two programmers, one marketing and promotional/educational activity organiser, one door to door salesperson and one more person that handles all other tasks.
Currently, our goal is to present ourselves the best we can in the domestic market. We want to show that we are trustworthy and that we can help agri-businesses to deal with their issues (especially during the buyout season).
SW: The harvesting season is over. Have you managed to help new customers?
AS: Yes, we have :). The software is stable and fully functional, and the team was able to provide full technical support and solve all problems that clients had. During the summer, the Silos software had processed the buyouts for 10 million euros worth of goods. We consider it to be a great success for our team.
SW: Is it hard to create a startup in Serbia in the field that isn’t very well-known for accepting innovations and new technologies?
AS: The effort we make isn’t any bigger than the other startups (oriented toward different industries) are making.There is a preconceived notion that people from the agricultural field don’t follow the advancements in technology, which is far from the truth. If you take a look at the Vojvodina fields, you will see that modern machinery does the work; that the wheat is harvested in space shuttle-like machines; and you will see only modern tractors being used. When it comes to software, the people from this industry know that they need specialized software and know what to expect from it. But, not all of them understand that the software has to be bought and that it cannot be created by “the kid next door”. This is the reason why we try to educate our clients as much as we can.
SW: Working in a startup or a company – which is your choice and why?
AS: I always worked on startups, so it is a clear choice for me. I’m not the person that can go to the office from 9 to 5 and stop thinking about work as soon as I leave the building. I like to work until the job is done. I like working from home, or from a cafe. I also like to travel and work in different cities. Another thing I like is the thrill that startups are offering – I never get bored at work.
SW: What is your message to the future entrepreneurs who are thinking about creating a startup?
AS: I don’t want to sound too smart, so I’ll keep it simple: set a goal for yourself, choose the path to that goal and go for it. Allow yourself to change goals, to change the road you are heading for, but never let yourself stay goalless or pathless. It will help you a great deal when you decide to develop your ideas.
SW: Thank you Saša, we wish you the best of luck in your work!