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Ruul business interviews: meet the CFO of smartPulse Kerem

Izzy Turner
September 30, 2020

Our expansive community welcomes many businesses from many fields. We are happy to shape the future together with very valuable Ruulers around the world. Today we are introducing a digital green energy company smartPulse and its CFO Kerem.

1- Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your company.

My name is Kerem, and I am the CFO of smartPulse. smartPulse was founded in June 2018 and is a SaaS for short term power trading. We help clients in trading process automation, algorithmic trading, power plant monitoring, and forecast aggregation.

2- What made you decide to start working with independent professionals, and what are the best parts of working with freelancers? Why do you choose to work with freelancers?

We have been scaling up the company very fast. In just three years, we have reached 50% of all wind power plants in Turkey and more than 13% of all Turkish power generation capacity. Nonetheless, our journey is far from over, and we have eyes on all significant European power exchanges. This sort of fast development calls for highly skilled talent in the team. Our permanent staff is outstanding from a technical/analytical point and in the sense of hardworking, problem solving, and commitment. But we need external support from individual senior professionals from time to time whom we cannot afford to board as full-time employees for now. Freelancing gives flexibility to both the professional and the customer. It is a more direct and task-oriented approach to getting things done. With freelancers, we can adjust and monitor workload, plan tasks, and budget accordingly. Freelancers enjoy the benefits of clients' diversification, managing their own time, and a result-oriented approach to work.

3- How do you find freelancers?

We are mostly using referrals for now. We usually conduct our initial screening interviews, try out with a few more manageable tasks, and adjust the work accordingly.

4- As remote working is becoming more common among companies, how do you think it will impact the future of work? Do you think the freelance economy will grow faster in the future?

With the unicorn era in the startup ecosystem, economic growth relies more on the individual than the enterprise. A one-person startup can seed something so powerful that it surpasses the power represented by the traditional capital. This is mainly because innovation fosters an environment of freedom, and enterprises usually unwillingly create invisible boundaries for its workforce. Talent alone is not always enough to generate growth, but it certainly is a critical ingredient. In this sense, freelancing allows talented professionals the sort of flexibility that gives freedom to innovate as necessary, all the while giving the corporate account a tool to better manage growth without relying only on internal resources.

5- How do you communicate, collaborate & socially engage with freelancers and your remote employees? Could you name some tools/platforms?

We utilize traditional online communication platforms like Teams, Zoom, etc., we use Jira, Sharepoint for project management and Clockify for timekeeping.

6- Do you have any suggestions for companies that are considering working with freelancers? Can you shortly elaborate on what companies should do or avoid when they start outsourcing work to freelancers?

I'd advise starting slow if you do not have a history with the freelancer. Try to understand the capacity and commitment to deliverables. Build the work as you build trust, in time and through case by case. Keep in mind that working with a freelancer creates more significant responsibilities in project management and task follow-up. This eventually requires the organizational culture to adapt to managing and monitoring the work done rather than monitoring who did what.

7- Do you have any suggestions for freelancers who are working with corporate companies and teams?

I'd strongly advise for building a character of dependability. Do not overcommit and do not under-deliver, for each task completed is a foundation for future success. Define your boundaries clearly and stick to them. Let the client know what you can do and what you cannot do or not prefer to do. Visualize that you are running an ultra marathon with the clients, not a 100m sprint; creating long-lasting relationships is more important than immediate gains.


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