Appdec is a company founded in 2009 by Zana Tabaku with colleagues. The company develops custom made software, purchased by the government but also by other larger organizations. Appdec has managed to establish itself in Kosovo and London, and has entered the market in both Europe and the US. Appdec targets, however, not only major costumers but also provide a range of software to smaller sectors such as supermarkets, pharmacies, etc.
The road to success has not been easy. Zana previously worked as a programmer at a company where she along with nine other colleagues decided to start Appdec. Zana describes the difficulties of getting in to the Kosovar market: "without a network of contacts and references, it is difficult to establish a company". She had to work without reimbursement during the first four years in order to promote and display the software, for people to recognize the company and its high quality. At first, she found difficulties in running the company, because of the fact that she did not have prior experience in business management. Today, Appdec is a well-known company and the hard work has paid off.
Zana finds it unfortunate that, because of the business being male dominated; there are many talented women who refrain from learning about and becoming part of the IT-industry. These women need to be motivated to seek jobs within the industry. Especially since her own experience has been that people both within and outside the industry become pleasantly surprised when it's a woman who is successful within the IT field. "It leaves a good impression on people when they see that you are a woman who develops software," Zana says.
Zana's advice to those who wish to open their own business is to have a good structure and business plan for the company, including the budget and knowledge about the demands of the market. Aside from that, it is crucial to have a strong will, because the first three years are horrible, Zana says and laughs. She points out, however, that if you have managed to get by the first three years, then you have actually succeeded.
For those who vacillate from opening their own business Zana has a message to convey: do not hesitate, just do it!
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