Milan, 12 May 2020. It’s been just over five months since the first case of COVID-19 was recorded. The current coronavirus crisis claimed thousands of hundreds of lives and left millions without jobs all across the globe. Some of the industries were hit harder than others, including the tourism and food sectors. Yet, some industries found themselves thriving during these times.
We talked with Veljko Drakulić, the CEO of DHH Croatia – he told us how his company is helping companies take their businesses online. He also told us a bit about the plans of DHH Croatia.
How did the first quarter of 2020 go for DHH Croatia?
Veljko Drakulić: “Despite this coronavirus turmoil, we did really good. Luckily, we are in this specific sector, which is actually growing during this period. In terms of total bookings, we reached our business point figures, which is, of course, the most important thing. So, all in all, I am satisfied with our performance so far.
During the first quarter, we just followed out business plan that was laid out earlier before the COVID-19 hit, with the only difference being that we started working from home from the beginning of March.”
Have DHH Croatia’s operations been affected by the COVID-19? What long term effect do you think this crisis will have on the web-hosting sector?
Veljko Drakulić: “As more companies are switching online, and we see more webshops being opened, we actually see an increase in demand for our services. On the other side, there are fewer newly established companies and more companies that went bankrupt or have their bank accounts frozen, so, they can not buy our services.
Overall, we did not see serious consequences of this crisis yet. As I mentioned, we are working from home, with all operations going smoothly and we do not see any negative trends.
In the long run, this economic slowdown will definitely have consequences for the local economy (experts say that GDP will decrease around 9%) and, certainly, companies are about to continue using webshops and online channels for the distribution. This is a great opportunity for web hosting companies as they will have increased demand for their services.
Besides, during the coronavirus period, we noticed that people have changed their buying habits and they are now getting used to buying online. I expect them to continue with online purchasing even after this crisis. This is why I see growth potential in the web hosting industry.”
I know you launched new shared hosting packages on your premium brand “Plus Hosting” at the beginning of this year. How are they performing? Have you received any feedback from the customers?
Veljko Drakulić: “Preparation of these packages took a while, and we did not want to rush with the launch. This is why these new packages are performing excellent now; I am very satisfied. Both clients and employees are happy with this new and modernized offer. We gained lots of new clients, but also existing clients are switching to new packages. I can only say that we are very happy now, nothing more to add.”
Last time we talked, you mentioned that the merge between Studio4Web and HostingIT went well. Have all of your customers that were with HostingIT been transferred to the Studio4Web platform yet?
Veljko Drakulić: “The vast majority of clients have been transferred to the new platform, and as their subscription on HostingIT looks towards the end, we transfer them to Studio4Web. We did not experience any issues so far. Some of the clients still have an active subscription on the HostingIT platform, and we are planning to switch them to Studio4web until the end of this year, so from the beginning of the next year, we will not have any clients on HostingIT platform.”
I remember you were planning to relocate to a new office earlier this year. Did the move happen?
Veljko Drakulić: “Yes, we relocated to the new office in the middle of February, before the COVID-19 lockdown happened and we worked almost for a month in the new office, and after that, we started working from home. In general, we are satisfied with new working conditions.
The new office is modern, larger and we have extra space for expansion – in case we need to increase the number of employees in the future. The price of the new office is also lower than that of our old office.”
Please tell me about the new version of the knowledge book that you were planning to launch the last time we spoke. Did you get the chance to work on it?
Veljko Drakulić: “Yes – we finished it at the beginning of March. It is modern, fast and easy to navigate, which is important for our users. Now, we are working on the expansion, and we are adding new articles. Our clients’ first impressions are very good so far. Also, our employees are satisfied, since this will lower the number of tickets in the long run, as our clients will be able to find the necessary information by themselves.”
What are the plans of DHH Croatia for the upcoming months?
Veljko Drakulić: “We have just launched the new LiteSpeed hosting package called “Plus speed hosting”. It is a special package assembled on the LiteSpeed technology, and it’s ideal for companies, which are currently using our standard web hosting packages but would like to open a webshop and start selling online. The good thing is that we launched it at the perfect moment for webshops.
We also plan to launch a website builder in the upcoming months. We plan to offer this website builder for Studio4Web, so users will be able to create their website with the help of this add-on.”