CEO and Co-founder of AirDesigns
"Leading Growth Through Innovation and Continuous Improvement"
Harnessing the power of people, technology, and science to bring new ideas to life — this encapsulates the strategy of Elena Velikova as she propels her company towards growth and success.
Elena heads AirDesigns, a digital innovation agency that she founded with her partner in 2013. According to her, it is the ever-changing technology sector that continues to fuel her desire to seek new knowledge and test out new ideas. This industry leader is definitely a believer in transformation and evolution.
Anchoring the Business
The heart of the business lies in their innovative, entirely new approach to building software and the constant effort to enhance their knowledge and methodology. It is with these key values that Elena differentiates the company from their competitors. These naturally translated into growth and a number of industry awards for AirDesigns over the years.
“Our mission is to lead the development industry in adopting a scientific and data-driven approach to building websites, apps, and e-commerce platforms that consistently deliver results,” Elena shares. She further reiterated her strong drive in serving startups and enterprises to help them achieve exponential growth and operational efficiency.
AirDesigns’ scientifically proven methodology and extensive knowledge base have multiplied growth and performance for their clients. Elena cites that “5x improvements have become the norm.” Naturally this achievement evolves into a company’s promise to their clients: 5x better digital products launched on time or they get the code for free. Consistently meeting this promise pushed AirDesigns’ growth figures up at 67% YOY in 2019. Not a small feat in today’s highly competitive web development space.
The company has maintained a deliberate and conscious approach towards ensuring that their methodology and knowledge base remain updated and relevant. Elena reveals how they examine and evaluate their performance at the end of every project. Doing so pinpoints vital activities and mistakes so they can tweak and improve their methodology accordingly. This and their strong company culture of delivering their brand’s promise are the keys to success.
AirDesigns started with the mission to overcome two industry challenges: first, most websites do not deliver the expected results and fail to contribute to the company’s bottom line (with the failure rate pegged at around 75%); and second, web development projects are notorious for overshooting their budgets and timelines (usually 3x budget & timeline overrun) and never launch on time.
AirDesigns changed this. Company’s success formula put together an entirely new approach to building custom websites and e-commerce centered around the power of people, technology, and science. Their new approach involved hiring only highly trained digital strategists, designers, and developers, combined with a powerful modular development methodology, a lot of automations and extremely efficient processes engineered for speed, simplicity, and transparency.
While many companies cannot justify the cost of hiring great talent and investing in processes and automations, Elena believes the opposite. For her, “one great person could replace three good ones, and we proved this in practice.” Thus, AirDesigns remain competitive providing reasonable pricing without sacrificing quality,” she added.
Unlocking Opportunities During Lockdown
Nobody was prepared for the global pandemic in 2020. AirDesigns faced uncertainty like most of the companies all around the world. Elena had to quickly think on her feet and act to respond to the situation.
She recognized the need of a new, flexible business model that would allow them to boost profits in times of rapid growth and stay profitable even when revenues go down. They made quick pivot transforming AirDesigns into a virtual agency and took advantage of two global trends: remote working and the growing army of people who want to work on their own terms. Thus, the company overcame one of the biggest industry challenges – the “talent deficit.”
Opening doors to the global talent pool of developers and keeping their monthly fixed costs low led them to greater profitability despite the global challenges. At the rate things are going, it looks like yearend figures for 2021 will show quite an impressive growth. Third quarter financials show that they’ve already hit their projected yearend growth of another 34%.
Women in Business
To succeed as a business leader, Elena shares valuable lessons she learned through her entrepreneurial journey:
1. Be persistent in pursuing dreams and goals through deliberate action.
2. Accept change as something natural and know that to achieve something different, you have to try a whole new approach.
3. Knowledge is the new currency. Never stop learning.
4. Be curious about new methods, models, and concepts.
5. Be in constant contact with colleagues and clients.
To Elena, “female leaders have the unique ability to see the whole picture, to improvise, to do several things at once, and to see the purely human qualities of the people they work with.” These make women leaders most powerful. “The world is demanding more authentic companies and the business of the future will insist on work that is meaningful,” she concludes. IEWL
CEO and Co-founder of AirDesigns
We’re called “Air” designs because we give a breath of fresh air to every project we work on. Fresh air for the people and organizations we collaborate with, fresh air for their customers, fresh air for us, and fresh air for our planet.