The BizSpark startup of the day is IP-Tech, based in Tunisia. You will find below an interview with Fateh Bel Hadj Ali, CEO and Co-Founder of IP-Tech. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!

Website: www.iptech-offshore.com.

Interview with Fateh Bel Hadj Ali, CEO and Co-Founder of IP-Tech

Tell us who you are and your role in the company:

Fateh Bel Hadj Ali, CEO and co-founder. IP-Tech’s vision statement is mainly providing high quality, reliable and globally-recognized offshore ITO services. Therefore, my role is a mix of a three missions: Talent management, corporate organization and customer satisfaction assurance.

What did you do before creating your company?

I joined IBM just after graduating from Tunisia Polytechnic School. Two years later, I moved to Paris – France, where I worked as an IT Specialist for three years. After that, I have been providing consulting services for five years to top asset management corporations (Société Générale AM and BNP Paribas AM) to better manage their offshore IT teams.

How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?

It’s actually a very pleasant surprise. It’s also amazing since it comes just few days after being elected by Microsoft as Tunisia’s best startup during Microsoft BizSpark Camp opening ceremony. It's also a great recognition of the huge efforts of IP-Tech’s engineers. They are working very hard to achieve technical challenges and to be up to date with latest Microsoft technologies.

What is your company’s mission?

As stated above, IP-Tech is meant to be a high quality and reliable offshore software provider. Our engineers are defining everyday complex software architectures and implementing market standards into our customers’ information systems. We are aiming to be the privileged offshore/nearshore destination for software producers and consulting firms looking for highly qualified and result oriented professionals.

How did you get the idea for your company?

After working for several years in the French software industry and developing multiple skills related to distributed software development teams, I have found it appropriate to consider my own IT outsourcing company in Tunisia and remotely export consulting to European firms.

I had several and long discussions that time with Mohamed OUEDERNI, a friend and a school mate at the Polytechnic School who also moved to Paris and followed a software R&D path. We shared the same ambition to build a technological center that exports advanced software development to quality-concerned companies. M. OUEDERNI is currently my partner and IP-Tech’s CTO.

Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?

IP-Tech is completely self-funded until this point. Its business model relies on durable partnerships and healthy growth. Therefore, no funding schemes are currently in sight.

How many employees do you have? How many developers?

IP-Tech has currently 29 full time employees, 25 among them are developers.

Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring and where?

Yes, we are hiring experienced and less experienced software developers of different backgrounds to work on our Tunis-based offices.

Which platform are you building on? Why?

The platform on which we develop depend most of the cases on our customers’ existing components. But when it comes to define a Microsoft-based new architecture, we definitely recommend the Microsoft Application Platform. It allows our customers to streamline their IT and business processes and to optimize their infrastructure.

Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet area?

I got through IP-Tech the opportunity to work with companies of different sizes, their IT infrastructures and visions are very different. Therefore, a significant opportunity is to scale-up and down business solutions to make products that fit companies of different sizes. This could be a valuable cross-selling offer.

What do you think about the BizSpark Program?

Along with different other Microsoft resources, BizSpark Program incredibly fosters excellence at IP-Tech. It allows our technology specialists to have access to all required software and tools to boost their skills and be up to date with Microsoft’s latest innovations.

Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?

I think that any young Software entrepreneur must persevere and always try to find distinctive factors. It’s very important also to build a highly skilled team when targeting business growth.

Who’s your role model?

Actually I do not have a specific model. During my professional, and more generally human experience, I have known people of exceptional qualities. I also saw a lot of practices with which I disagreed. So I’m always trying to make my own path and to avoid others’ mistakes. My mistakes will by themselves contribute in the success of others.

What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?

IP-Tech is a young company which is proud of its staff: They are ambitious, able to overcome all the technical challenges they face and to fulfill IP-Tech customers’ satisfaction.