British technology company Kainos was one of the first IT companies to invest in Gdansk. When it opened its first office in 2008, it had 15 people working there. Recently, the Polish branch of Kainos celebrated crossing the threshold of 300 people on board and announced an investment in new space.
A bit of history
It is the first half of 2008. People around the world are waiting for the release of the second generation of iPhone. Hardly anyone is anticipating the financial crisis, initiated by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September this year. None of the Olivia Business Centre office buildings are yet in place in Gdansk, and a total of several thousand people work in the entire Tricity IT sector. This is when the first employees of the Polish branch of Kainos move into an office on the top floor of Madison Mall. Among them was Marcin Wasilczyk.
– I had been working at Kainos for almost a year by then. The opening of the office was a big event for us. The company’s CEO, Brendan Mooney, helped us carry the desks. So much has changed in more than 15 years that it is easier for me to list the things that have not changed. We still have a relaxed atmosphere and focus on collaboration. We do not create artificial, hierarchical barriers. What I think makes us successful are the great people who work here. Together we create software that makes the world a little better – recalls Marcin Wasilczyk, Solution Architect, Kainos.
He started as a programmer and today he is a Solution Architect. The four development teams he leads are involved in the development of one of Europe’s largest cashless payment processing platforms.
– 15 years ago, we were writing software that was installed on computers. Today, we develop solutions that run in the cloud and use AI. At Kainos, we have always focused on using modern technologies and that makes this work interesting. Kubernetes, Azure, microservices and other tools and technologies that we use in my current project did not exist 15 years ago. Throughout my career at Kainos, one thing I was sure of – that I would have the space and the necessary support to grow – Marcin Wasilczyk emphasises.
Gdansk – an important spot on the map
Kainos employs more than 3,000 people worldwide and 10% of them work in Poland, including more than 270 in Gdansk. The two main areas of activity of the Polish office are software development and Workday system implementations.
– Over the 15 years of Kainos’ presence in Poland, the world and the way we work has changed. Our team is growing, but we no longer need a desk for every employee. We remain in the Tryton Business House. We have left the office that has served us since 2016 and are moving to a smaller space that will be adapted to the hybrid working model that is standard for us. We work remotely. We have employees in Warsaw, Lodz, Poznan, Krakow or Katowice. Our new office will be a space for meetings and collaboration. The £1 million we will invest will allow us to use, among other things, low-carbon technologies bringing us closer to our goal of being a zero-carbon company by 2025. It also proves that we are not going anywhere from Gdansk and we want to continue to co-create a good climate for IT in the Tricity – says Jakub Stempnik, Country Lead for Poland, Kainos.
The beginnings of Kainos in the Northern Irish city of Belfast, where the company’s headquarters is still located, are strongly connected with creating IT solutions for the public sector, healthcare and commercial clients. Today, teams from Poland are still working in these areas and have specific achievements in them.
– The solutions we provide are changing the way organisations operate so that people are better off. Following the outbreak of the pandemic, we were commissioned to deliver a system that enabled the UK to order tests for Covid-19 and get the results. The challenge was that we had six days to deliver a working solution. We managed and developed it to the point where it was handling several hundred thousand queries a day. We contributed to the creation of the British equivalent of CEPiK, or a solution through which the British order passports without leaving their homes – argues Szczepan Sakowicz, who headed the Gdańsk office for more than 10 years and today is responsible for business development in Europe.
Strong reputation of Pomeranian IT specialists
– The fact that customers appreciate what we do and how we do it can be seen from our results. As an outcome, we are well on the way to realising our strategy of having more than 4,000 people working for Kainos in 2025. A bright spot on our map will be Gdańsk – Szczepan Sakowicz describes the development plans.
– The Polish team has made a great name for itself at Kainos. We play a key role in creating advanced solutions using modern technologies. This is important, although when during the recruitment process candidates ask what is the most important thing for me in this company, I answer that the people and the atmosphere. That makes all the difference. Everyone who works for us has the feeling that they will not be left alone with a problem. We are a team and together we offer solutions that change the world for the better – adds Jakub Stempnik.
The entire IT industry in Pomerania has grown over the last 15 years. Today, almost 25,000 people work in it.
– The IT sector contributes more and more to the region’s economy. Each new company from this sector is an opportunity to improve professional qualifications of our specialists and the best advertisement of Tricity as an attractive location even for the most demanding partners. I am glad that after 15 years of operation Kainos has not only gained an important position on the local market, but also plans further development. This is an example of a company that has appreciated good conditions for running and developing its business and also our support, among others, in the activities of Invest in Pomerania, initiative coordinated by the Pomerania Development Agency – says Mieczysław Struk, Marshal of Pomerania Voivodeship.