Currently, the trend to practice a remote job continues to grow rapidly among employees. Only one in 10 remote workers wants to return to the office entirely.

However, this does not appear to be a challenge for employers. Conversely, the biggest challenge remains identifying talent, especially when it comes to engineers and programmers. Sometimes local markets can be limited enough and then it’s time to go global.

About what it’s like to build a global platform of programmers and software engineers that provide remote services, but also about how you can improve the chances of competing in the software field both as a specialist and as an enterprise, the co-founder tells us in today’s interview of the INDEX startup, Sergiu Matei.

Startup Moldova: Sergiu hello! We invite you to briefly describe your startup idea and the service you propose, as you would like your audience to remember.

Sergiu Matei: Index is a global recruitment platform that helps international companies in the US, UK, and Canada to remotely/remotely hire highly qualified programmers and software engineers from the European space and to properly manage the onboarding of the new employee, his acclimatization within the team, salary payments, IP protection, as well as replacing the candidate if he does not meet the standards stated by the client.

Founded in London 3 years ago, with offices directly in London and Chisinau and with remote employees in over 12 countries, Index is part of the StartX community in addition to Stanford University, alongside start-ups such as Bolt, Patreon, or Lime.

Startup Moldova: What makes you special, compared to other recruiting companies or startups that offer the same solutions?

Sergiu Matei: Index is at the intersection of 3 global trends:

1. Remote work. Remote work is a new reality. More and more tech giants are inviting their employees to work remotely.

2. Freelancing. Contracting or freelancing is a trend that has reached its peak. More and more professionals want to be independent and be their own entrepreneurs.

3. Digitization. Technology is accelerating and more and more companies are investing in its development. We need programmers who will develop this next wave of technologies.

At Index, we are on a mission to stop the exodus of IT talent from certain developing countries/regions to other highly developed regions by redistributing the workforce. We offer engineers the opportunity to stay at home, providing remote talent screening and recruitment services for companies, startups, and international projects.

At the same time, the lack of IT talent in highly developed countries creates new opportunities for remote recruitment. To cover this need for software engineers, Index helps companies in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany to recruit anywhere in the world, whether in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, or Latin America.

What makes the Index platform different:

1. The Index platform is home to more than 8,000 IT professionals, the vast majority of whom come from Central and Eastern Europe, namely Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, the Balkan countries, and the countries of the Caucasus region – an area full of world-class talent, but which remains relatively unexplored.

2. Thanks to initial screening and vetting companies can recruit and hire IT engineers in record time. These engineers are thoroughly vetted by a team of Talent Recruiters trained to meet client expectations regarding technical knowledge, communication and teamwork skills, English level, and cultural fit.

3. IT engineers can work for international companies without leaving their native location/country.

4. In addition to identifying talents, we are actively involved in facilitating the onboarding of the new employee, contributing to his long-term adaptation. We build a strong B2B relationship with our clients by managing taxation, KYC, monthly payroll, and IP protection, as well as replacing the candidate in case the programmer or software engineer hired by us does not meet the standards stated by the client.

It is important to mention that Index is founded by young entrepreneurs with a business background based on the European and American model, being trained in the most prestigious universities in the world (University of Oxford, Purdue University) and at the same time borrowing from the experience of international business communities such as Forbes Technology Council, Start-X, YPO.

The founders and top management have the ambition to develop a leading company in the global remote recruitment industry.

Startup Moldova: Where did the idea for this startup come from, and from what necessity?

Sergiu Matei: It was 2017 and for some time I had been helping friends from the US and Europe to find programmers in Eastern Europe and I understood that I could solve the remote employment problem on a much wider scale.

Being a master’s student at the University of Oxford, in discussions with my teacher and curator, Mr. Teppo Felin, I practically confirmed my idea of ​​launching myself into the international recruitment market in the field of software engineering.

I decided to start this project together with my colleague and co-founder of the startup, Mihai Sochirca. And the reason why Index appeared is simple:

Index is a start-up that puts its shoulder to the development and simplification of the recruitment process among IT specialists around the world, by:

● Redistributing the labor force and reducing the brain drain.

● Greenlight new opportunities for programmers in Central and Eastern Europe by accessing high-paying jobs in the EU, UK and USA.

Startup Moldova: What were the biggest difficulties you faced at the beginning?

Sergiu Matei:

● Scaling and managing the distributed team in a remote format.

● The formation of departments and the development, through them, of a cohesive mechanism for prospecting, finding, checking, and sorting both companies and programmers with whom further collaboration will begin.

● Implementation of salary management services for programmers and software engineers in accordance with local legislation.

Startup Moldova: Whom is your product aimed at? What is the target customer segment?

Sergiu Matei: In the three years of activity, Index has helped over 100 companies and startups operating in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Fintech, E-learning, Software Development, Computing Cloud, NFT, Blockchain, E-Marketplaces, Finance, Gaming, and App Development to develop their regional and global projects by hiring programmers and software engineers in remote format.

Index’s top clients include:

Omio – the #1 search engine in Europe for all forms of transport: plane, bus, train or ferry.

MATSUKO – the first holographic presence app that turns people into 3D holograms (real size in real time) to help global teams meet in 3D meetings even remotely.

Venly – application programming platform (API) that provides Web3 services such as digital wallets and NFTs for major blockchain and gaming companies – Atari, Ubisoft, Bondly and Shopify.

Startup Moldova: Who is part of your team?

Sergiu Matei: Index is made up of and for professionals.

With employees in more than 30 countries, such as Moldova, Romania, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Colombia, Philippines, and South Africa, Index is a company that has moved to the permanent remote work model, offering employees the unique opportunity to work from anywhere.

The founders and team leaders of Index are:

Sergiu Matei, founder of Index, graduate of the University of Oxford, member of the Forbes Technology Council, mentor in the Alchemist start-up program in San Francisco and several accelerators and startups in Moldova.

Mihai Sochirca, Index co-founder and VP of Sales and Marketing. If we’re talking about success in sales, about taking ownership and achieving goals, then it’s about him.

Eugeniu Gârla, VP of Talent at Index. He has enormous experience in Information Technologies and a clear background in recruiting software engineers from Central and Eastern Europe.

Elena Bejan, People, and Culture Development Director. Elena actively participates in strengthening the organizational culture by coordinating, developing, and planning human resources, team-building events, and specialized conferences within Index.

Andi Stan, VP of Strategy and Finance. An avid researcher, Andi is on a mission to help Index improve its competitive position by innovating its business model, attracting new investment and implementing new technologies.

Startup Moldova: What growth and development plans do you have for the future?

Sergiu Matei: We want to bring as many talents as possible to our platform in all IT spheres from the most popular ones like Python, Java, Angular, and React to cutting-edge technologies like IoT, Quantum Computing, Cybersecurity, or Kotlin.

We want to open as many jobs as possible for the “best talents” both locally and internationally and create a strong team at home that will be able to contribute to the growth and development of the Index project and values. We want the best to stay or return to the country and work with us.

We also want to continue to support charities and youth organizations in the country and support business accelerators, donating a portion of the profits to noble causes.

Startup Moldova: Sergiu, we wish you to continue to grow. Proud to meet you! And we encourage our readers to follow you on Linkedin and why not, to be part of your team of remote specialists.

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