A Young IT Company With No Investor Money—Just Hard Work Behind Their Success

by Jobbatical October 02, 2017

FOB Solutions was born when Microsoft swallowed their former mother company. The ambitious founders worked hard to get the business off the ground, never accepting any investor money. Today, FOB exports 90% of their work, employs 50+ people from eight different countries, and is ready to hire more.

FOB has been around for 4 years. It started as many great companies do — when the mother company Ixonos was partly bought by Microsoft. The company’s entrepreneurial QA (quality assurance) engineers decided to start their QA-focused venture in April of 2013. Today, FOB Solutions’ core business is still QA, but they’re growing increasingly into a mobile development company.

Tallinn, FOB’s Northern European home. Photo by Dmitry Tkachenko Photo via Shutterstock.

With clients around the globe, the company considers its competitive edge to be quality. “We always ensure that we offer very high-quality testing, “ FOB’s CTO says.

FOB’s big break came 2 years ago, when the company grew from 15 people to 52. It’s perhaps important to state at this point that this rapid growth is all due to hard work—FOB has not applied for any investor or VC money to develop their company. And to make the story even more unbelievable, they only got their first salesperson on board last fall! True to form, the company didn’t use any job boards or advertising to find their sales wizard. It all happened through word of mouth—satisfied clients told their friends and acquaintances about this hard-working company, and the rest is history.

International clients, international team

90% of FOB’s work goes to export. Based in Tallinn, Estonia, the company caters to an expanding global customer base that stretches from the USA to Germany and Sweden. The resulting growing workload means FOB is always out hunting for talent.

You don’t have to be a bowling champion to join the team, but it doesn’t hurt. Photo courtesy of FOB Solutions.

“Our team is international already today — we’ve got people from the Philippines (read the story of FOB’s jobbaticler Minez here), Italy, Ukraine, India, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, and Estonia,” says their CTO. “And since our primary talent search is aimed outside of the borders of Estonia, this trend is also growing.”

The company knows what it takes to bring in and retain talent — good pay is a factor (obviously), but there’s more to it than that — a balance of challenges vs routine. “We keep our employees motivated through varied projects, so nobody has to repeatedly do the same thing 24/7.” And when a promotion is due, it’s always given. Any employee with a very good idea is welcome to pitch it, and if it’s a winner, they’ll get the budget to develop it.

People working at FOB enjoy quite a lot of independence, including the freedom to work from home every now and again. New people joining the company will always feel welcome quickly, because work is done in teams and all newbies get a mentor inside the team. Working at FOB will also bring a fair bit of travel with it, as their developers work every two months at their clients’ offices, either in Germany or the USA.

The hiring process is rigorous and nothing is left to chance. When asked if FOB has the habit of hiring people they’ve not seen in person, their CTO quickly replies, “No way!”

“Even after Skype interviews, we would bring that person to our office for a week, all costs paid, to see how they fit in with our team and only then we would make the final decision,” he describes the process behind building an effective international team.

All worth it for moments like this! Photo courtesy of FOB Solutions.

A bright future ahead

FOB today is a service provider, but the future holds bigger things. “We want to start offering a full-service product to our clients, not only testing and development. We have seen the necessity for it through our method of working with our customers,” the CTO says. “We always hold a workshop first with a client, to discover their needs — because often it may vary from their original idea.”

There’s a lot to strive for, and the opportunities for growth are endless—for the company as well as all its people. It’s an exciting time to join the team, and the good news is that you can apply on Jobbatical. Apply here:


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