Interview with Mr. Artis Rozentals, CEO at DeskTime



Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: June 28, 2021

Flexible work arrangements are the new normal! Organizations across the globe have transitioned to remote work models that facilitate a smooth work-life balance. In such a scenario, time tracking software is a must-have business tool to increase transparency between employees and management to ensure time is spent productively.

Today, we are fortunate to have interviewed Mr Artis Rozentals, CEO of DeskTime. He talks candidly about his success formula and how he had a clearly defined roadmap for DeskTime’s growth over the years. A leading time tracking and management tool, DeskTime advocates for the employee as much as the employer. With this philosophy, Mr. Rozentals throws light on his journey, mission, and long-term vision for his product.

In Conversation with Mr. Artis Rozentals, CEO at DeskTime

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

A warm welcome from SoftwareSuggest Mr. Artis Rozentals. Our readers are keen to know what prompted you to create DeskTime? Tell us about your journey so far.

DeskTime was created in 2011 as an in-house project for Draugiem Group’s biggest project at the time – the social platform The idea was to create a tool to measure the team’s productivity and hours spent at work since Draugiem Group has been an advocate for flexible working hours for more than a decade, allowing its employees to start work till 11 am.

It was essential to create fair working conditions so that people who arrived at work at 9 am could leave at 5 pm while those who started the working day later also left at a later time. The main idea of the time tracking software, from day one, was to increase workplace transparency between employees and management and to make sure work time is spent faithfully.

I joined DeskTime after five years as the head of marketing for one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline. The internal application was already fully developed and widely used among the Draugiem Group team, and they’d realized that the tool could be helpful for other companies. So we decided to branch out.

What is your success formula? Something you have followed personally that has helped you in your personal and professional journey

One of our biggest formulas of success was the idea to outsource professionals of their respective fields. We made an effort to outsource as many business processes as possible. You don’t need full-time employees during the beginning stages, besides outsourcing lets you move forward faster and easier. We did precisely that by outsourcing marketing, content marketing, SEO, advertising, and even design. This allowed us to stay in control of all our expenses and gave us a lot of flexibility while receiving professional services at the same time.

Now that we’ve grown our revenue and have significantly more projects on our hands, we’ve hired in-house staff. They’re highly skilled professionals who work in-house and also manage outsourced teams that we continue to employ.

What was the biggest challenge that you faced while working towards DeskTime’s growth and how did you overcome it especially in this New Normal?

We saw the fastest growth last year when the c19 pandemic hit. It didn’t take long for the number of our new customers to triple. It was a lot to handle for our support team since we had to face unprecedented obstacles. Our customer portfolio changed considerably as the Indian market started to dominate, and we saw an increase in internet connectivity problems.

We had to take a long hard look at our goals and objectives. If we’d had a clearly defined development roadmap at the beginning of the pandemic, we now had to put that aside and shift our focus on the quality of our service. We doubled our support staff, introduced face-to-face demo calls for our clients, and promptly expanded the capacity of our servers. And we managed to do all that while working remotely.

Many people have proved that remote work can be just as productive (and sometimes even more so) than spending time in the office. They enjoy the flexibility this way of working can grant them. But employers need proof of work and some sort of oversight when it comes to managing projects and staff. And that’s where time tracking comes in.

What separates DeskTime from its competitors?

DeskTime is a fully automated time tracking tool and we pride ourselves on the fact that the app is built to make work life easier. As far as time tracking goes, it might be one of the best tools to implement in your company’s day-to-day life. It’s a perfect aid for anyone who wants to become more productive and can help company managers get an overview of what’s going on. With a wide array of features that cover not only attendance and time tracking but offer a helping hand in project management, invoicing, and data analysis, DeskTime is one of the best time tracking and management tools out there.

But most importantly – DeskTime advocates as much for the employees as it does for the employers. We’re not about spying on your team and being the all-seeing Big Brother. It’s a tool that helps balance your work and private time, keeps the team accountable but not overworked, and offers precise data on why productivity is strongly linked to smart workflow practices.

How do you see the company changing in two years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?

I’m confident we’re on the verge of a giant leap when it comes to our company development. Yes, the 2020 jump was impressive, with a +160% increase in turnover. But our future plans are just as ambitious – we’re working towards a 50% increase in annual turnover.

We already see a significant shift in workplace habits. Now that the world is slowly adjusting to the new normal, we predict productivity software will become much more widely used. Remote work is the future reality. People want to continue combining remote work with office hours which means that time tracking will become a necessity.

With DeskTime adding new features and improving the app’s functionality, our clients will see an even bigger impact on their team’s productivity.

What new and exciting updates can we expect from DeskTime in the near future?

We’re working on several improvements and new features. The few more notable ones are the web timer that will allow tracing time with DeskTime straight from the browser without the desktop app, Kanban boards in the Project section for even more efficient task management, and GPS tracking that will allow automated time tracking while away from the computer. DeskTime will also add Spanish to its system languages to make it more accessible to a large portion of our client base.

One thing I can say for sure – the future for DeskTime is bright because we have a team that truly believes in this product just as much as I do.

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