The full video of the interview is available on UTICamp's YouTube channel.
We thank Leonid Glazychev and Fedor Bezrukov for this inspiring interview and for their detailed replies. Looking forward to seeing you at UTICamp-2021!
You have been the Gold sponsor of the conference from the very start. Please tell us what motivates you and what keeps you attending.
Leonid Glazychev (CEO at Logrus IT): There is a whole set of factors here: First of all, you are simply a bunch of very nice people, both as individuals and as a company; you are great to deal with. We enjoy coming to this place, and are happy to sponsor the event. It is important for us to be associated with something wonderful, and this goes much further than pragmatically presenting your brand.
Secondly, this is a unique event, especially nowadays. We have always liked this combination of forest relaxation and recharging, while at the same time participating in an absolutely businesslike conference with an opportunity to speak, listen to others, and exchange opinions. At the moment your event feels like a breath of fresh air. This is a one-of-a-kind feeling, a small piece of normality in our crazy lives. Instead of sitting at home in headphones, facing your webcam, you can communicate with people in person, and what’s more, it all happens outdoors. This is completely unique. You cannot imagine how much I wanted to come here this year. There is also a nostalgic element to this – revisiting something deeply familiar and dear to your heart. It’s almost like homecoming. Remember, in the 19th century people went to Nice every year. Most families knew each other, so it was a sort of a ritual, including a promenade on the boulevard. Nowadays this place feels exactly like that forgotten Nice from the 19th century novels, magically transported into the 21st century, but with access to all modern technologies. UTICamp brings both value and enjoyment to the industry as a whole, and urges us not to “simply” sponsor the event, but to sponsor it with pleasure. Thank you!
Fedor Bezrukov (Director at Logrus IT Ukraine): I’d like to add that Logrus IT participates in an sponsors numerous events around the world, and like many others we have cut our sponsorship budget significantly this year. But UTIC has received a special, protected-item status. Both Leonid and I have specifically defended this part of our budget for the reasons that Leonid has already listed. I can only add that without this annual recharging and socialization event, everyday work gets unbearably boring. And then the natural question arises - why do I need to tolerate this monotonous lifestyle, why can’t I afford to combine business with pleasure? I enjoy to listen to presentations and get some info essential for our work while relaxing on a bean bag or a couch and taking in the scenery around, rather than sitting in a stuffy room, supporting your eyelids with matchsticks so that you don’t fall asleep. That’s the way you can truly recharge... Thank you.
Can you tell us about the topics you raised and discussed at this UTICamp, and why now?
Leonid Glazychev: The first topic we wanted to discuss at this UTIC Camp is the post-apocalypse. What the industry can or should do given that it has not just reached maturity, but feels somewhat overripe. It can no longer continue being stuck in this same rut. We have proposed this topic prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Later on, everyone automatically associated the apocalyptic topic with COVID-19, but that’s totally wrong and is nothing but a coincidence. The industry has to change, because maturity means two things: a very high level of competition and paper-thin margins, which negatively affects both companies and individuals.
Life gets rather uncomfortable because you work more, earn less, and feel exhausted. Nothing good about such a combination. We wanted to talk about this situation and outline, in broad brushstrokes, where to run, what we can do to glide towards a brighter future, rather than into dangerous, uncharted territories. The topic has nothing to do with the current situation or events in the months to come. We wanted to look years ahead. I understand that forecasting the future is complicated. In this case we tried to stay as far away as possible from making prophecies. We talked about concrete things that can and should be done instead.
Measures that we need to consider in order to move forward and make sure that our lives stay both diverse and entertaining. So that we want to stay in this industry and continue to work with passion five or even ten years from now. And now Fedor will say about a couple of words about the other topics we have already brought up or intend to.
Fedor Bezrukov: Thank you, Leonid. We have agreed in advance that we will not talk about COVID and its impact on our industry, because that’s one topic that everyone is already fed up with. We rather decided to outline our vision of the future using broad brushstrokes. Big thanks to the organizers who have given us one more time slot to share some practical knowledge at the transcript master class. I think it is going to be useful to many people, because it mostly contains pure life hacks. Thank you.
Another question. Which areas within the industry, in your opinion, have the most potential, how should we spend our development budget?
Leonid Glazychev: This is a very general question. Unfortunately, there is no single answer, or you rather need to make a proper sacrifice and consult an oracle or find a vestal virgin somewhere, which is problematic in our times. We see three general, global areas at least worth consideration. We mentioned all of them in our presentation. The first one is expansion into other markets, other languages, and other fields.
The second one is diversification, in other words an attempt to move from conventional translation or interpretation to something different, say multimedia or games. Also, you can start to create content instead of just translating it, including blogs, websites, custom online eLearning courses, design work.
Finally, the third thing is what we call specialization, i.e. doing something much better than others in a particular niche and concentrating on that area. In our opinion this not-at-all-holy trinity is what will help us move ahead. We would like to avoid giving specific advice to anyone concerning their choice, because your optimal strategy depends on what your or your company’s key skills are, what feels more exciting and/or comfortable, what strengths and advantages you have, and where you can find good resources.
And, finally, the third thing is doing something much better than others in a specific niche field. It is what we call specialization. We think that this triangle or not-at-all-holy trinity is what will help us move ahead. We wouldn’t like to give advice to anyone concerning the choice, because it very much depends on what your or your company’s skills are, what is more interesting and comfortable for you, where you think you already have some advantages or strong suits, what is more interesting for you, and where you can find some good employees.
We left this general question open, but we tried to honestly and openly, without a hint of condescendence or aloofness cover and discuss paths that can be explored, including associated risks, affinity to things you are already doing, required investment, and short-term and long-term potential. The choice is yours, ladies and gentlemen. Otherwise, the intrigue is lost...
Fedor Bezrukov: I’d like to add that we try to invest and commit our time and financial resources not only to high-potential growth areas, but also to our employees and specialists working with us. Some of them have been with us for more than a decade, and this is our most coveted treasure. It’s all about the people. We not only look for ways to earn money, but are also trying to support and develop our staff as best we can, so that we get better survival chances in these difficult times.
How do you see the next UTICamp, and do you plan to come?
Fedor Bezrukov: Some people probably wish that these events were held in exotic places like Bali, or at least in Turkey or Egypt. But I think that it would be difficult to find a more suitable venue than the one camp organizers have already created for a calm, leisurely and … business-oriented conference. If you know, tell me. It will be either too hot or too cold there, or the place will be swarmed by mosquitoes. Here everything is perfect. I would continue doing what you are doing. Perhaps, improve some things that come to mind. But as a whole, I am delighted with the way things are. Thank you.
Leonid Glazychev: I think that the unique format is a huge UTIC advantage, and an exotic location would not help, but rather become a drag. GALA tried setting up a conference at a resort in Mexico and nothing good came out of it. Some people considered this just a vacation paid for by the company. Others wondered why they had to travel so far to a place not too suitable for business. I think that the camp setting on the Samara river bank is perfect for the event. The combination is really good, so just stick to it. Things can always be improved when it comes to content and format. Naturally, I would like to see some fiery, exciting speakers, and naturally, I would like to see a program of higher quality and diversity.
I do hope that next year it will be even more interesting and packed, because you apply the experience you accumulate all the time. You managed to organize everything under “exotic” (to put it mild) and extremely stressful conditions, and you adapted the format accordingly, combining live presentations and meetings with online ones, and bringing everyone together. It will work even smoother when people get used to the situation a bit and realize that the disease scare/terror is not something that comes and goes, but an integral part of our lives, and we should learn to live with it.
Let’s just learn to coexist with the circumstances we cannot change and move forward. Let’s improve specific bits and pieces and work more on speaker and topic selection. But let us cherish, value, love and keep the event’s uniqueness, enjoy the priceless touch of “Normalcy in Time of Plague” and preserve this combination of relaxation, joyful socialization and informational value. We hope everyone who joins the event in person or online enjoys it together with us!