Hey Scott, can you tell us a bit about Direct Line?
“Sure! It’s a multinational website design and software development company. Our CEO, Aleksei Kudimov, founded his company over 15 years ago while he was still in college in Russia. He recently brought the company to Philadelphia here in the United States. We specialize in building sleek and modern websites, mobile applications, and optimizing sites for search engines. We have a fairly unique development process in the sense that we build our sites and applications based on our clients’ needs rather than giving them a selection of templates from which to choose. This always results in great business partnerships.”
What is your position with the company?
“I am currently the Sales Manager at Direct Line. I manage a growing team of Sales Executives as well as meet with my own clients directly. Along with this, I work closely with Aleksei as we further progress our company’s presence in the United States.”
What do you find most challenging about your job?
“I would have to say the most challenging aspect of this position has got to be convincing our clients that Russians aren’t the scary, ruthless people that they see on TV and in the movies. They hear “founded in Russia” and are immediately on guard. I mean, I understand that with any big project there has to be a level of security and trust established, but that this protection comes from our custom code and genuine relationships with our clients, not from the mob they assume we’re affiliated with… but because of the persistent preconceived notions about Russia, however, I think our process of working with clients has actually improved drastically since they quickly learn that we are the exact opposite of what they may initially fear and are greatly relieved.”
If you had a day off and could spend it anyway at all, tell us what you’d do!
“I’d definitely spend it exploring Philadelphia and the various scents its streets have to offer… Come to think of it, I’d probably just hold my breath until I got to the Art Museum.
So, really important and very relevant question here, if there were a fight between Darth Vader and the incredible hulk, who would win?
“This is a no brainer: Darth Vader. Sure, the Hulk may be massive, but the force is something you just don’t mess with.”
Tell us why Direct Line is lucky to have you.
“Hmmm… probably my sense of humor. I like to laugh a lot and can usually make others laugh with me. This makes me get along with all of our clients and my co-workers. Plus I took enough Russian in college so that I am able to learn all the Russian words they’d like to hear me butcher with my American accent.”
How does Direct Line benefit the small business owner?
“Like I said before, we build our sites and apps based off our clients’ needs rather than the “plug n’ chug” template method. With a design and development team of over 60 people, we have the capacity to take on large corporate projects with ease, but at the same time are able to use our expertise to provide small businesses with exactly what they want. Most companies our size won’t even acknowledge a small business, but we understand the value in catering to companies of all sizes and treating our clients with intense care, regardless of size or experience.”
If you were on American Idol, what song would you choose to sing?
“Anything by Mariah Carey or One Direction.”
What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
“I was just recently sitting on the train on my way into Center City. I was wearing this pair of funky polka dotted socks. I’m talking pinks and purples and blues and reds etc. because my philosophy is, the crazier the sock, the cooler the person. Maybe this is just my weird way of justifying being ridiculous. Anyways, I was wearing these socks and two people next to me started making fun of them in Russian. When I say making fun, I mean reallygetting creative about their insults. I didn’t say anything and let them ramble on until my stop approached. When I had to get up from my seat to get off the train I said to them in Russian, “Excuse me, but this is my stop” and waited for them to make room for me to slide by. Needless to say, I had to step over their jaws as they hit the floor and their faces matched the red dots on my socks. I saw them at the same stop hours later and the one guy offered me a dollar, as if it was an apology or something. I told him to save it for a pair of personality socks.”
Tell us your favorite Philly (and/or philly burbs) hang outs.
“I spend a lot of my time during the day at The Pyramid Club in Center City because it is a great place to meet great people. Plus the view is spectacular. During the weekend nights I can typically be found at Howl at the Moon, a fun piano bar, or in the various beer gardens Philly has to offer. There’s just so much to do here I never go to the same place too many times before I have to try something new.”