Tech consultancy Konversational is bucking the trend and plans to double its headcount in the next 12 months

Ireland-based technology consultancy Konversational is bucking the trend in the industry by doubling its workforce rather than cutting staff.

Global giants Twitter, Meta and Zendesk join Irish unicorns Stripe and Flipdish in job cuts. Konversational entrepreneur and co-founder John Gilleran plans to expand, he said Irish Independent.

“I’ve been in this space for 20 years, right, so I’ve seen a few different cycles. I’m not really afraid. We just exchange it. There is no such thing as a recession-proof business. That does not exist. We are quite confident that we may be able to double the size of our organization again next year without having to do anything.”

Richard Guy, Konversational’s other co-founder, says the slowdown could even benefit his firm given the recent struggles in hiring tech talent around the world.

“Even with a slowdown, the projects with the positive business case will still get approved and still come through, so I’m not overly concerned about that,” said Mr Guy.

“If anything, it probably means there’s a little bit more talent out there that we can try to bring with us on the journey.”

Two years after its launch, Konversational is already profitable thanks to a business model focused on shipping US software supermo ServiceNow’s products to companies in Ireland and the UK.

Mr. Gilleran and Mr. Guy step in at school companies that have purchased ServiceNow’s cloud-based platforms, helping them automate everything from customer service to security and hiring.

With 16 ongoing projects across Ireland and the UK, they are targeting large companies across technology, retail and financial services, which have accelerated their digitization efforts as a result of the pandemic.

“There has certainly been a change in the way interactions have taken place during the pandemic,” Mr Guy said. “I think this species has accelerated the understanding that people are more efficient when they’re typing than speaking, and you can probably have two or three WhatsApp conversations going at the same time, but you can only talk to one person.”

A €2m deal to launch ServiceNow at Irish IT services provider Ergo, announced this summer, was crucial for the company as revenue jumped to €3m from around €1.2m in 2021 Euro is set to double this year.

The company is currently hiring, with the headcount expected to increase from 13 or 14 last year to 35 this year and 55 or more next year.

The expansion will be funded by reinvesting profits rather than raising new capital, although Guy doesn’t rule this out if they decide to expand beyond Ireland and the UK.

A recent survey by Microsoft and Vodafone found that smaller businesses — those with fewer than 50 employees — have been slowing their overall digitization rate since the pandemic as they seek to cut costs.

But Mr. Gilleran and Mr. Guy say that’s not the case for big companies, which plan and budget for big technology projects years in advance.

“People are spending more and more money on this stuff,” says Gilleran.

“Ergo’s decision to use ServiceNow is a board-level decision – they’re making a bet with this technology that it will change the entire customer experience. There are more and more people making these kinds of decisions around this technology. This is what I see: They are replacing legacy technology with newer technology to increase efficiency in their business. And that doesn’t go away.” Tech consultancy Konversational is bucking the trend and plans to double its headcount in the next 12 months

Fry Electronics Team

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