Meet Our Members – iWebMa – Éva Vajda
We interviewed one of our most successful female leaders in HubHub Budapest, Éva Vajda, the Managing Director of iWebMa. Her company is a long term member of HubHub, and her team never misses a community event which we are ever so grateful for.
Could you introduce yourselves and your company iWebMa?
The company was established by three professionals in 2005 – Arnold our software architect, Gábor – Phd physicist and me, a person with experience in media. The guys had been working together for several years before, so they had tremendous experience in various technology-related projects while I was working as a sales and marketing leader of a publishing company, with very long business hours and even more pressure and stress…
All of us wanted to create a more valuable service and start our own company. We were not quite sure about the kind of service or product we should offer, but we were certain that it must relate to our previous experiences with internet technology and marketing. That is how iWebMa was created. We became one of the first Pay Per Click (PPC) agencies in the CEE region, and one of the biggest Google partner agencies in Hungary.
However, during the last decade, we took our business to the next level, transforming it from a classic PPC agency to a full-scope digital marketing consulting company. Nowadays, our mission is to help our clients understand their online market. We assist them in quantifying scale and the competitors’ landscape, we support them in identifying short- and long-term opportunities for increasing brand awareness and we help them drive customer acquisition and loyalty. We believe that the right decisions are always based on data and facts. Our clients experience on average 10-15x ROI on every cent they invest in digital marketing projects while working with us.
What inspired you to create your own company?
I was predestined to go into digital because of my formal education and my family background. As early as 2000, I wrote my thesis on e-commerce – at that time there was only one big web shop in Hungary. Ever since I got my degree, I wanted to become an entrepreneur, but like most of my friends, I started to work as an employee for a traditional media company. Even though I learnt a lot from this experience, it was very stressful, and after a few years, I realized that this is not what I want to do in the long term. I had big dreams, I believed what every young entrepreneur believes: I wanted to create something unique, inspire others and be my own boss – partly because I had really bad experience with my previous one…, and like many others, I had the illusion that I will work less and have more free time than before – that quickly turned out to be a wrong assumption. During the first 10-12 years of running iWebMa, I have worked more than ever before… I was unversed in business, I lacked management experience but at least, I was building something of my own.
How do you feel about being a female leader in tech industry?
First of all, I’m sure that being a good leader doesn’t depend on your gender. Leadership is something you have to learn – mostly from your own failures. What makes a difference and can be treated as an advantage of being a female leader is the fact that we measure success in a much more sophisticated way than men do. The so-called soft ‘KPIs’ like the atmosphere and vibe of the company, the “well-being” of the team and customers are as important for us as the financial success.
During the last years, it has been proven that these influence the business results as well, but I think women somehow instinctively knew this long before we could read a research on these topics.
Being a female leader is still quite rare in Hungary, even in our industry. While most of the B-level roles could be filled by women, there are still very few ones on the C-level. Therefore, it was always very important for me to lead by example and empower other women: I regularly train female entrepreneurs through various programs and we support Skool, whose mission is to increase engagement among young girls through experience-based coding courses towards technology related studies and jobs. My dream is to live in a world where your choices and opportunities are not limited or defined by your gender.
Why did you choose HubHub as your office space?
I knew HubHub long before we moved here as a company, since as a Google trainer, I participated and presented many trainings here. I felt in love with the space at first sight – just like everyone else I think 😉 – but at that time, I did not think that this amazing space will become our space. But a few months later, when we outgrew our previous place and were looking for the new office, I contacted HubHub for a proposal and got an answer within 5 minutes. This speed and quality of the offer were a positive surprise for me, especially when compared to the other service providers I had talked to before. After getting to know the whole picture, how HubHub works, what kind of companies are here and what kind of services we can get access to – there was no doubt in my mind. We decided to move in within a month. Being in a fancy and high-tech environment is highly profitable for our business, but it was even more important for me. I love being a part of the HubHub community and the inspiring vibe, which we can experience every day – preferably with no coronavirus out there.
What are your ambitions for 2021?
My ambitions haven’t changed since the last year. There is a very simple recipe for success: happy team & happy customers! If I can contribute to achieving both of these goals as a leader, everything else will fall into place. We are in a very lucky situation that we don’t have to struggle with sales problems, usually we have far more leads from referrals than what we can scope with. One of the biggest challenges is how to manage the optimal growth of the company and how to build the best agency in the region – that is what I’m planning to work on this year.